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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Synonyms for asylum

Synonyms

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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 For decades, the United States met asylum seekers from Cuba and Haiti with divergent attitudes: for Cubans, open arms, and for Haitians, return tickets. Washington Post, 14 July 2021 A week after the April 6 lawsuit, Texas sued the Biden administration again -- this time seeking to reinstate a Trump-era policy that required asylum seekers at the southern border to remain in Mexico until their court hearings in the US. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 14 July 2021 Furthering the confusion, there is a European Union law known as the Dublin Regulation that formerly provided a mechanism for the U.K. to return asylum seekers to other EU countries. Frey Lindsay, Forbes, 7 July 2021 The Danes are believed to be sending asylum seekers to Rwanda, the Times reported. Adam Shaw, Fox News, 7 July 2021 Trump administration policies intended to restrict access to U.S. soil and the asylum system in particular meant that many of these more recently arriving Haitians were left stranded in Tijuana. Kate Morrissey, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 June 2021 The Biden administration has outlined plans to overhaul the asylum system and reduce the backlog by using U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officers to adjudicate claims. Washington Post, 16 June 2021 So there was that direct kind of consultancy between the actors and people who'd been through the asylum system. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, 1 May 2021 Just as Trump’s attorneys general used this authority to unilaterally narrow the asylum system’s scope, so, too, can Garland. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 26 Apr. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near asylum

asyllabic

asylum

asym-

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Statistics for asylum

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Asylum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/asylum. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for asylum

asylum

noun

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
Hint: Sense 3 is somewhat old-fashioned.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on asylum

Nglish: Translation of asylum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of asylum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about asylum

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