asylum

noun asy·lum \ ə-ˈsī-ləm \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

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
3 a :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

Examples of asylum in a Sentence

  1. She asked for political asylum.

  2. 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

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

asylum Synonyms



ASYLUM Defined for English Language Learners

asylum

noun

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

asylum

noun asy·lum \ ə-ˈsī-ləm \

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 Dictionary

asylum

noun asy·lum \ ə-ˈsī-ləm \

medical Definition of asylum

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

Law Dictionary

asylum

noun asy·lum \ ə-ˈsī-ləm \

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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