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

Those migrants made that long desert exodus for a number of reasons: some to apply for asylum in Mexico or in the U.S., some to escape violence, while others set off in hopes of finding greater opportunities elsewhere. Vogue, "A New Fashion Collaboration Is Pushing for Positive Change at the U.S.-Mexico Border," 22 Mar. 2019 According to the Daily Star, the judge also rejected her asylum request, but Alejandra plans to appeal the ruling. Danielle Campoamor, Teen Vogue, "ICE Detained This Outspoken Activist. Here's What She Had to Say the Day Before a Judge Ordered Her Deportation," 12 Dec. 2018 Costa Rica is receiving some 200 asylum requests a day, mostly from young people who have been put on government blacklists, the Miami Herald reports. Sebastian Modak, Condé Nast Traveler, "What Travelers Need to Know About the Unrest in Nicaragua," 3 Aug. 2018 The woman requested anonymity because her asylum request is currently under review. New York Times, "‘They Were Abusing Us the Whole Way’: A Tough Path for Gay and Trans Migrants," 11 July 2018 In 2017, 54 percent of asylum requests were rejected. Alessandro Giovanni Borghese, Bloomberg.com, "Why European Tension Is Rising Over Migrants (Again)," 22 June 2018 Like tens of thousands of others who escape Central America and Mexico each year to pursue a better life in the United States, Natalia was taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) while her asylum case was being processed. Elaine Murphy, Teen Vogue, "What Really Happens Inside American Immigration Facilities and Detention Centers," 14 Jan. 2019 As if being insulted in print by your boss isn’t enough, a federal judge on Thursday threatened to hold the attorney general in contempt of court for deporting a mother and daughter even as their asylum case is being adjudicated. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "The Week in Washington: Is the Blue Wave Spooking “Your Favorite President?”," 12 Aug. 2018 Both asked to be identified by their first names only because their asylum cases are pending. latimes.com, "Some migrant children are reunited with parents as Trump administration misses court deadline," 11 July 2018

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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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

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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More from Merriam-Webster on asylum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with asylum

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for asylum

Spanish Central: Translation of asylum

Nglish: Translation of asylum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of asylum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about asylum

Comments on asylum

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