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 The report said that as in the past, some 9 out of 10 immigrants seeking asylum into the U.S. were denied. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, "Seventy-five percent of illegal immigrants skip deportation hearings, hiding out in US," 7 Feb. 2020 Two months later, the Justices allowed Trump’s asylum ban at the border to stand, pending further appeals. Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, "Are the Courts Beginning to Move in Favor of Trump’s Immigration Policies?," 6 Feb. 2020 The Trump administration implemented Remain in Mexico—formally known as the Migrant Protection Protocols or MPP—early last year to reduce the number of families illegally crossing the border and requesting asylum. Alejandro Lazo, WSJ, "Fewer Asylum Seekers Have Lawyers Under Trump Administration Policy," 31 Jan. 2020 The administration has also severely restricted the ability for migrants to obtain asylum at the southwest border. New York Times, "Trump Administration Adds Six Countries to Travel Ban," 31 Jan. 2020 Benavides plans to send copies of it to U.S. senators, to encourage them to reform immigration law and asylum policy. Krista Torralva, ExpressNews.com, "Driven by the migrant experience, San Antonio student writer gets national recognition," 24 Jan. 2020 But those seeking asylum or other protections will be allowed to apply and legalize their status in Mexico. Author: María Verza, Anchorage Daily News, "Over 2,000 Central American migrants try to enter Mexico," 18 Jan. 2020 Previous seasons have taken us inside a haunted house, an insane asylum, a witch’s coven, a cult, a reality show in literal development Hell, and the end times. Nick Romano, EW.com, "American Horror Story renewed through season 13," 9 Jan. 2020 The refugee resettlement program is different than asylum. Jackie Borchardt, Cincinnati.com, "Gov. Mike DeWine to Trump administration: Ohio will continue accepting refugees," 30 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

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Asylum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/asylum. Accessed 26 Feb. 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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Comments on asylum

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