: a charitable institution for the needy, aged, infirm, or young
a: an institution where the sick or injured are given medical or surgical care—when used in British English following a preposition, the article is usually omitted <came and saw me in hospital—Robert Graves>b: a place for the care and treatment of sick and injured animals
Institution for diagnosing and treating the sick or injured, housing them during treatment, examining patients, and managing childbirth. Outpatients, who can leave after treatment, come in for emergency care or are referred for services not available in a private doctor's office. Hospitals may be public (government-owned) or private (profit-making or not-for-profit); in most nations except the U.S., most are public. They may also be general, accepting all types of medical or surgical cases, or special (e.g., children's hospitals, mental hospitals), limiting service to a single type of patient or illness. However, general hospitals usually also have specialized departments, and special hospitals tend to become affiliated with general hospitals.