Gain access to thousands of additional definitions and advanced search features—ad free! JOIN NOW
: the state of being an orphan
: an institution for the care of orphans
Recent Examples on the Web
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.
1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1
orphan entry 1 + -age, after Middle Frenchorphelinage
Keep scrolling for more
Resources for orphanage
19 Sep 2018
Time Traveler for orphanage
See more words from the same year
More Definitions for orphanage
: a place where children whose parents have died can live and be cared for : a home for orphans
See the full definition for orphanage in the English Language Learners Dictionary
: a place where children who have lost their parents live and are cared for
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
Comments on orphanage
What made you want to look up orphanage? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
a magnificent or impressive array
Get Word of the Day daily email!
Name that Food Quiz
Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.
Red Cross Warns of Shelter Conditions
RIP Burt Reynolds
NYT Publishes Anonymous Piece
Kavanaugh Mentions Word in Hearing
Manafort Guilty on 8 Counts
Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!
That dessert might kill you
How a folk song became a term of derision.
Sorry, not sorry
The participle made famous by Elvis
And is one way more correct than the others?
The story of an imaginary word that managed to sneak past our editors and enter the dictionary.
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
The awkward case of 'his or her'
Test your knowledge of food and food words.
A quiz in common time.
SCRABBLE® fans, sharpen your skills!