asylum

noun
asy·​lum | \ ə-ˈsī-ləm How to pronounce asylum (audio) \

Definition of asylum

1 : an inviolable place of refuge and protection giving shelter to criminals and debtors : sanctuary
2 : a place of retreat and security : shelter
3a : the protection or security afforded by an asylum : refuge
b : protection from arrest and extradition given especially to political refugees by a nation or by an embassy or other agency enjoying freedom from what is required by law for most people
4 somewhat old-fashioned : an institution providing care and protection to needy individuals (such as the infirm or destitute) and especially the mentally ill

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Examples of asylum in a Sentence

She asked for political asylum. She was granted asylum after it was made clear that she would be killed if she returned to her native country.
Recent Examples on the Web On Monday, the Yuma Sector began implementing a program first tested in El Paso, Texas, that fast-tracks asylum claims but is being challenged in federal court. Washington Post, "Administration touts 100th mile of border wall under Trump," 10 Jan. 2020 Witness and media reports indicate a 36-year-old Mexican man had walked over the bridge to the United States port of entry and asked to make an asylum claim, though CBP would not confirm it. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, "Mexican man trying to make asylum claim slits throat at Texas border after being turned away," 9 Jan. 2020 Coincidentally, the situation in Iran comes in the same week that the U.S.launched a pilot program to collect DNA from people detained at the border, including asylum seekers and those entering the country without authorization. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "At US-Canadian border, rising tensions with Iran don't slow crossings," 8 Jan. 2020 Since the beginning of the year, border officials have sent more than 53,000 migrants back to Mexico to wait outside U.S. territory while their asylum claims are processed. BostonGlobe.com, "Under secret Stephen Miller plan, ICE to use data on migrant children to expand deportation efforts - The Boston Globe," 21 Dec. 2019 The 43-year-old Cuban man had spent five months in immigration detention waiting for a judge to hear his asylum claim. USA Today, "Deaths in custody. Sexual violence. Hunger strikes. What we uncovered inside ICE facilities across the US," 20 Dec. 2019 New Mexico once again found itself in the spotlight amid a jump in the number of migrants from Central America seeking asylum in the U.S. Washington Post, "New Mexico Democratic agenda, oil boom make 2019 headlines," 26 Dec. 2019 Their deaths ushered in a growing border crisis that caught immigration officials unprepared to manage a crush of Central American families seeking asylum in the U.S. and raised questions on medical care and treatment. BostonGlobe.com, "DHS watchdog finds no wrongdoing in deaths of 2 migrant kids - The Boston Globe," 22 Dec. 2019 Their deaths ushered in a growing border crisis that caught immigration officials unprepared to manage a crush of Central American families seeking asylum in the U.S. and raised questions on medical care and treatment. Colleen Long, SFChronicle.com, "Review finds no misconduct in deaths of 2 migrant children," 21 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'asylum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of asylum

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for asylum

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek asylon, neuter of asylos inviolable, from a- + sylon right of seizure

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Time Traveler for asylum

Time Traveler

The first known use of asylum was in the 15th century

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Statistics for asylum

Last Updated

16 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Asylum.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/asylum. Accessed 24 January 2020.

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More Definitions for asylum

asylum

noun
How to pronounce asylum (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of asylum

: protection given by a government to someone who has left another country in order to escape being harmed
old-fashioned : a hospital where people who are mentally ill are cared for especially for long periods of time : a mental hospital

asylum

noun
asy·​lum | \ ə-ˈsī-ləm How to pronounce asylum (audio) \

Kids Definition of asylum

1 : a place of protection and shelter They sought asylum from the storm.
2 : protection given especially to political refugees
3 : a place for the care of the poor or the physically or mentally ill

asylum

noun
asy·​lum | \ ə-ˈsī-ləm How to pronounce asylum (audio) \

Medical Definition of asylum

: an institution providing care and protection to needy individuals (such as the infirm or destitute) and especially the mentally ill

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asylum

noun
asy·​lum | \ ə-ˈsī-ləm How to pronounce asylum (audio) \

Legal Definition of asylum

: protection from arrest and extradition given especially to political refugees by a nation or by an embassy or other agency that has diplomatic immunity

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