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

Home Town's cameraman was one of the first people to see Helen in the hospital when she was born. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "14 Things You Didn't Know About HGTV Home Town Stars Ben and Erin Napier," 8 Mar. 2019 Stories like someone recovering from surgery in the hospital, and our show was the only thing that brought them joy during that process. Lindsey O'connell, Woman's Day, "Exclusive! Watch a Sneak Peek of Hallmark Channel’s 'When Calls The Heart'," 28 Feb. 2019 The two remain in critical condition and in the hospital. Fox News, "Russia retaliates, expels 23 British diplomats amid tensions over ex-spy poisoning," 2 Oct. 2018 Luke Perry, the former Beverly Hills, 90210 cast member and current Riverdale star, is currently in the hospital after suffering a stroke on Wednesday, People reports. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Luke Perry of 'Beverly Hills, 90210' and 'Riverdale' Is Hospitalized After Suffering a Stroke," 28 Feb. 2019 Ren Xiaoping, a surgeon who aims to perform the first human head transplant, worked for many years in U.S. hospitals but returned to China because a medical institute in his hometown of Shenyang agreed to support his research. Christina Larson, The Seattle Times, "Gene-editing Chinese scientist kept much of his work secret," 28 Nov. 2018 Powered by BACtrack's proprietary BluFire fuel-cell sensor technology (which is used in most hospitals and clinics), the C6 is the smallest police-grade alcohol tester ever made. Popular Mechanics, "Practice Responsible Driving with This Tiny Breathalyzer," 8 Nov. 2018 In hospitals, doctors developed workarounds for when lights go out and drugs run dry. David Nath, Fox News, "Social media saves lives in Syria's Civil War," 21 Sep. 2018 He was seen by a doctor at Sandringham and given the all-clear, and later attended hospital as a precautionary measure. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Prince Philip Will Surrender His Driving License Following Road Traffic Accident," 9 Feb. 2019

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 accomodations" (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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Statistics for hospital

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for hospital

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on hospital

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hospital

Spanish Central: Translation of hospital

Nglish: Translation of hospital for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of hospital for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about hospital

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a flaw that causes the downfall of a hero

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