noun, often attributive
hos·​pi·​tal | \ ˈhä-(ˌ)spi-tᵊl How to pronounce hospital (audio) \

Definition of hospital

1 : a charitable institution for the needy, aged, infirm, or young
2 : an institution where the sick or injured are given medical or surgical care usually used in British English without an article after a preposition
3 : a repair shop for specified small objects a clock hospital

Examples of hospital in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The state reported 88,845 people were estimated to have active cases of the potentially deadly virus, while 2,291 coronavirus patients were in the hospital. John Hilliard,, "Mass. reports 7,110 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, 90 new deaths Saturday," 9 Jan. 2021 Who’s in the hospital: As of Saturday, there were 421 people hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout the state, a decrease of 30 from Friday’s total. oregonlive, "Coronavirus in Oregon: State reports 1,643 new cases, 28 new deaths," 9 Jan. 2021 Her daughter Rebecca Chace said the cause of her death, in a hospital, was complications of Alzheimer’s disease. New York Times, "Jean Valentine, Minimalist Poet With Maximum Punch, Dies at 86," 7 Jan. 2021 O'Brien, who'd been unable to see Roberts in the hospital because of COVID-19 restrictions, was allowed to visit Sunday as her condition worsened. CBS News, "Tanya Roberts, Bond girl and "That '70s Show" star, has died at 65 after premature death report," 5 Jan. 2021 There were 1,296 covid-19 patients in the hospital Monday, breaking the previous record of 1,234 set Sunday. Jeannie Roberts, Arkansas Online, "State covid hospitalizations reach record high," 5 Jan. 2021 Pingel added that O’Brien — who had previously been unable to visit Roberts in the hospital because of COVID-19 protocols — was allowed to see her Sunday and say goodbye. Christi Carras, Los Angeles Times, "Actress Tanya Roberts dies at 65 not long after false death announcement," 5 Jan. 2021 This was 2007, and a torn ACL had landed the Division I college soccer player in the hospital for a stint. Sunset Magazine, "Once a ‘Total Valley Girl,’ She’s Now Saving Wild Mustangs on a Montana Ranch," 4 Jan. 2021 But the news agency has since retracted the story, saying the actress, who is 65, did not die Jan. 3 but in fact was still alive in the hospital as of early Monday, according to new information from Pingel. Washington Post, "Actress Tanya Roberts is still alive, despite reports of her death," 4 Jan. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hospital.' 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 hospital

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for hospital

Middle English hospital, ospitale "residence for pilgrims and travelers, charitable institution providing residence for the poor and infirm," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Medieval Latin hospitāle, going back to Latin, in plural hospitālia "guest accommodations" (probably by ellipsis from hospitāle cubiculum "sleeping room for guests"), noun derivative from neuter of hospitālis "of a guest, of hospitality, hospitable," from hospit-, hospes "guest, host" + -ālis -al entry 1 — more at host entry 3

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Time Traveler for hospital

Time Traveler

The first known use of hospital was in the 14th century

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Statistics for hospital

Last Updated

17 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hospital.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for hospital


How to pronounce hospital (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hospital

: a place where sick or injured people are given care or treatment and where children are often born


hos·​pi·​tal | \ ˈhä-ˌspi-tᵊl How to pronounce hospital (audio) \

Kids Definition of hospital

: a place where the sick and injured are given medical care


noun, often attributive
hos·​pi·​tal | \ ˈhäs-ˌpit-ᵊl How to pronounce hospital (audio) \

Medical Definition of hospital

1 : a charitable institution for the needy, aged, infirm, or young
2a : an institution where the sick or injured are given medical or surgical care when used in British English following a preposition, the article is usually omitted came and saw me in hospital— Robert Graves
b : a place for the care and treatment of sick and injured animals

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