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 When this informs decisions on whom to admit to hospital during a pandemic, more black than white patients are sent home on the mistaken conclusion that their blood-oxygen levels are within a safe range. The Economist, "Working in the dark Design bias is harmful, and in some cases may be lethal," 10 Apr. 2021 Rita Hynes lugged her pregnant body up the rural hospital’s wooden steps. Longreads, "Switch at Birth — But How?," 9 Apr. 2021 As of Tuesday night, 1,710 people were reported to be in an Illinois hospital with COVID-19, including 353 in the ICU. Kevin Bessler, Washington Examiner, "Pritzker downplays chief of staff comments about fully reopening this summer," 8 Apr. 2021 Maria worked a busy schedule as a nurse at a Los Alamitos hospital. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, "Tale of José Rojas: How an Orange County kid kept the faith and made the Angels roster," 8 Apr. 2021 Donald never regained consciousness and died at an area hospital eight days later. oregonlive, "From traffic stop to fatal shooting: New details reveal escalation that left Jenoah Donald dead," 8 Apr. 2021 During a series of blackouts in 1970s London, a young nurse works a night shift in a hospital where a dark presence lingers. Washington Post, "What to watch on Thursday: “Rebel” premieres on ABC," 8 Apr. 2021 Inside the hospital, Williams talked on his cellphone, refused to give it up for evidence and got angry at the police officer for taking it away, charges state. Meredith Colias-pete,, "Merrillville man charged with shooting at girlfriend, records show," 8 Apr. 2021 Jain suggested that the government had to take the vaccine to communities rather than having beneficiaries register online and go to the district hospital. Arunabh Saikia, Quartz, "Should India open up the Covid-19 vaccines for all age groups?," 8 Apr. 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

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hospital.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for hospital



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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