(English) Asylums, (Latin) Asyla
(Latin) asylum, (Greek)
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. So sacred was the church to some, that it had the right of an asylum or sanctuary. Ayliffe.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.2. Any place of retreat and security. Earth has no other asylum for them than its own cold bosom. Southey.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.
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From Latin asylum.
asylum (plural asylums) A place of safety. The protection, physical and legal, afforded by such a place. A place of protection or restraint for one or more classes of the disadvantaged, especially the mentally ill. 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, Mr. Pratt's Patients: Of all the queer collections of humans outside of a crazy asylum, it seemed to me this sanitarium was the cup winner. When you're well enough off so's you don't have to fret about anything but your heft or your diseases you begin to get queer, I suppose.
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