Search Result for "asylums": 

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Asylum \A*sy"lum\, n.; pl. E. Asylums, L. Asyla. [L. asylum, Gr. ?, fr. ? exempt from spoliation, inviolable; 'a priv. + ? right of seizure.] 1. A sanctuary or place of refuge and protection, where criminals and debtors found shelter, and from which they could not be forcibly taken without sacrilege. [1913 Webster] So sacred was the church to some, that it had the right of an asylum or sanctuary. --Ayliffe. [1913 Webster] Note: The name was anciently given to temples, altars, statues of the gods, and the like. In later times Christian churches were regarded as asylums in the same sense. [1913 Webster] 2. Any place of retreat and security. [1913 Webster] Earth has no other asylum for them than its own cold bosom. --Southey. [1913 Webster] 3. An institution for the protection or relief of some class of destitute, unfortunate, or afflicted persons; as, an asylum for the aged, for the blind, or for the insane; a lunatic asylum; an orphan asylum. [1913 Webster]