or·​phan·​age | \ ˈȯr-fə-nij How to pronounce orphanage (audio) , ˈȯrf-nij \

Definition of orphanage

1 : the state of being an orphan
2 : an institution for the care of orphans

Examples of orphanage in a Sentence

After the death of his parents, he was raised in an orphanage.
Recent Examples on the Web Older children in the orphanage make masks that are distributed to the villagers. Vincent T. Davis, San Antonio Express-News, 24 May 2021 Isabella Lamkin was less than 2 days old when she was surrendered outside the gates of an orphanage. Sylvia Goodman, The Courier-Journal, 1 July 2021 Henson will take on the role of the cruel head of Annie's orphanage, Miss Hannigan. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 28 June 2021 Henson was previously announced in the role of Miss Hannigan, the devious head of Annie's orphanage. Nick Romano, EW.com, 28 June 2021 Henson will play Miss Hannigan, the infamous head of the orphanage where Annie lives before she is adopted by Daddy Warbucks, the network announced last month. Ally Mauch, PEOPLE.com, 28 June 2021 There is an aging, red-brick building in one corner of that property that has fallen into disrepair and may have been a part of the original orphanage. Paula Allen, San Antonio Express-News, 26 June 2021 Their beginning staff of 12 worked out of an old orphanage. Jake Coyle, Star Tribune, 9 Apr. 2021 Tales of a haunted orphanage or two lovers trapped in a flood are sketched in a way that, true to the title of the collection, makes the reader think of fables. Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'orphanage.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of orphanage

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for orphanage

orphan entry 1 + -age, after Middle Frenchorphelinage

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About orphanage

Time Traveler for orphanage

Time Traveler

The first known use of orphanage was in 1579

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near orphanage

orphan's court



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for orphanage

Last Updated

25 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Orphanage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orphanage. Accessed 4 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for orphanage



English Language Learners Definition of orphanage

: a place where children whose parents have died can live and be cared for : a home for orphans


or·​phan·​age | \ ˈȯr-fə-nij How to pronounce orphanage (audio) \

Kids Definition of orphanage

: a place where children who have lost their parents live and are cared for

More from Merriam-Webster on orphanage

Nglish: Translation of orphanage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of orphanage for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about orphanage


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!