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See more synonyms for orphanage on Thesaurus.com
  1. an institution for the housing and care of orphans.
  2. the state of being an orphan; orphanhood.
  3. Archaic. orphans collectively.
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Origin of orphanage

First recorded in 1530–40; orphan + -age
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for orphanage

foundation, school, business, institute, academy, university, system, society, clinic, hospital, establishment, company, association, hut, dormitory, apartment, dwelling, palace, resort, shelter

Examples from the Web for orphanage

Contemporary Examples of orphanage

Historical Examples of orphanage

  • After dinner she went off to Westminster in search of the orphanage.

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • But I stopped long enough at the orphanage to ask about the poor baby.


    Jane Abbott

  • The next time she came to the hospital, Kate had much to ask her about the Orphanage.


    Florence A. Sitwell

  • That home of affluence was not mine,—it was only the asylum of my first days of orphanage.

    Ernest Linwood

    Caroline Lee Hentz

  • For several years they had supported a little girl at an orphanage.

British Dictionary definitions for orphanage


  1. an institution for orphans and abandoned children
  2. the state of being an orphan
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for orphanage


1570s, "condition of being an orphan," from orphan (n.) + -age. Meaning "home for orphans" is from 1865 (earlier was orphan house, 1711).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper