Definition of asylum
3a : the protection or security afforded by an asylum : refugeb : 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
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 of asylum from the Web
A QuickTake explainer on refugees and political asylum.
Fidel Steps In Shakur was granted asylum by Fidel Castro in 1984.
Eighty-four percent of refugees are in developing countries, while the countries that account for 57% of global GDP host fewer than 9% of all refugees and asylum seekers.
A 2003 asylum hearing coincided with Saddam’s fall from power, so a judge declined the request.
In 2014, Elvira Arellano escorted a group of Central American asylum seekers to the U.S. border and encouraged them to cross.
The bones, for example, can provide more detailed information about the health of the asylum’s patients.
Those seeking asylum must meet the same criteria as refugees.
With Miguel Chach bailed out and now pursuing an asylum claim, the Neighbor Fund has turned its focus to helping one of the men who was picked up along with him, Manuel Chach, who is not related.
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.
Origin and Etymology of asylum
Middle English, from Latin, from Greek asylon, neuter of asylos inviolable, from a- + sylon right of seizure
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
ASYLUM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of asylum for English Language Learners
: protection given by a government to someone who has left another country in order to escape being harmed
: a hospital where people who are mentally ill are cared for especially for long periods of time : a mental hospital
ASYLUM Defined for Kids
Definition of asylum for Students
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
Medical Definition of asylum
: an institution providing care and protection to needy individuals (such as the infirm or destitute) and especially the mentally ill
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
Learn More about asylum
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up asylum? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).