or·phan·age | \ ˈȯr-fə-nij , 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

One of the most prized items in the White House collection is an 11- by 18-foot rug, crafted by Armenian girls living at an orphanage in Ghazir, Lebanon. Glenn Dixon, Smithsonian, "The Age-Old Tradition of Armenian Carpet Making Refuses to Be Swept Under the Rug," 6 July 2018 The artwork now on view in Soho was originally created in 2016 by kids and teens at an orphanage in Johannesburg. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Here’s the Story Behind Gucci’s New Soho Mural," 22 June 2018 Founded as an orphanage in 1905 by Mother Frances Cabrini, the focus changed in 1959 to educating the city's young women. Sue Strachan, NOLA.com, "Cabrini High School's Night of Green and Gold gathers alumnae and supporters," 27 Mar. 2018 But as violent protests over sharply rising fuel prices shook the island nation, a dozen members of North Albemarle Baptist Church still took refuge Monday in an orphanage outside the capital city. Bruce Henderson, charlotteobserver, "Haiti 'just completely blew up,' NC pastor says of stranded mission team," 9 July 2018 Goldman’s involvement sprang from a charity event when Shigeki Kiritani took Christmas gifts to an orphanage. Yoshiaki Nohara, Bloomberg.com, "In One of the World’s Richest Countries, Most Single Mothers Live in Poverty," 24 June 2018 Poverty During the early 1900s, states sometimes pulled children from poor families and placed them in orphanages. Russell Contreras, chicagotribune.com, "Other times in history when the U.S. separated families," 20 June 2018 The Assemi family helped found the California Health Sciences University, which aims to provide medical training in California’s low-income Central Valley and has backed a hospital in Afghanistan and an orphanage in Iraq. Andrea Fuller, WSJ, "Pistachio Billionaires’ Foundation Lends Millions to Business Associates," 28 June 2018 He was born with several serious medical conditions in an orphanage in Kiev, Ukraine, but overcame them to earn a gold medal at the Special Olympics. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles notes: Chance Sisco and Yefry Ramírez recalled in latest episode of rostermania," 28 June 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for orphanage

Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for orphanage

The first known use of orphanage was in 1579

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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 \

Kids Definition of orphanage

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on orphanage

Spanish Central: Translation of orphanage

Nglish: Translation of orphanage for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of orphanage for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about orphanage

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