in·​fir·​ma·​ry | \ in-ˈfərm-rē How to pronounce infirmary (audio) , -ˈfər-mə-\
plural infirmaries

Definition of infirmary

1 : a place (as in a school or prison) where sick or injured individuals receive care and treatment
2 : a large medical facility : hospital Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Examples of infirmary in a Sentence

One of the students became ill and was sent to the infirmary.

Recent Examples on the Web

Children, patients from an infirmary and a tuberculosis hospital, victims of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 and Civil War veterans were laid to rest in what is known as the Dunning grounds, a 320-acre stretch on the city’s Northwest Side. Nereida Moreno,, "As workers dig at new CPS school site, they try to avoid Dunning’s unmarked graves," 5 Apr. 2018 When Marshall asked a second time to go to mental health, she was sent to the infirmary, where medical staff notified the Department of Investigation — the watchdog agency that investigates corruption across city government. John H. Tucker, Daily Intelligencer, "Rape at Rosie’s," 26 June 2018 With dark falling, and the storm still blowing, the two are evacuated to the nearest infirmary with one of the paleontologists driving—at least an hour and a half away by truck in the blinding storm. Jason Harper, Condé Nast Traveler, "On the Hunt for Dinosaur Bones in the Gobi Desert," 20 July 2018 Blessing, who is being held in a jail infirmary, refused to be brought to court Thursday. Fox News, "Pleas entered for 92-year-old woman held in son's death," 19 July 2018 On a recent day, one huge steer languished in the ranch’s infirmary with an herb pack applied to an aching knee. Oliver Griffin, WSJ, "Like Your Steak Aged 36 Months? Try 17 Years," 10 July 2018 According to the website Tales of Eloise, more than 7,000 former residents of the Eloise hospital and infirmary are buried there. Hasan Dudar, Detroit Free Press, "Historic and 'haunted' Eloise Complex in Westland sold for $1," 21 June 2018 Ambulances, doctors and nurses were gathered at Quonset and 225 cots were set up in the station infirmary., "May 27, 1954: Explosion rips carrier Bennington," 27 May 2018 Brother Reilly, meanwhile, was resting in the infirmary. John L’heureux, The New Yorker, "The Long Black Line," 14 May 2018

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for infirmary

The first known use of infirmary was in the 15th century

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English Language Learners Definition of infirmary

: a place where sick people stay and are cared for in a school, prison, summer camp, etc.


in·​fir·​ma·​ry | \ in-ˈfər-mə-rē How to pronounce infirmary (audio) \
plural infirmaries

Kids Definition of infirmary

: a place for the care and housing of sick people


in·​fir·​ma·​ry | \ in-ˈfərm-(ə-)rē How to pronounce infirmary (audio) \
plural infirmaries

Medical Definition of infirmary

: a place especially in a school or college for the care and treatment of the sick

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Spanish Central: Translation of infirmary

Nglish: Translation of infirmary for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about infirmary

Comments on infirmary

What made you want to look up infirmary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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