or·​phan·​age ˈȯr-fə-nij How to pronounce orphanage (audio)
: the state of being an orphan
: an institution for the care of orphans

Example Sentences

After the death of his parents, he was raised in an orphanage.
Recent Examples on the Web The whereabouts of the missing 46 children from the local orphanage remains unknown. Alan Taylor, The Atlantic, 2 Dec. 2022 Regardless of the weather, my room had the powdery gray light of a storybook orphanage. Stephanie Danler, Time, 4 Nov. 2022 Raised in an orphanage in Baghdad, he was then brought to Australia by humanitarian Moira Kelly, only to become an Australian X-Factor sensation. Marta Balaga, Variety, 5 Aug. 2022 The children were placed in an orphanage, and a local couple, Floyd and Charlotte Lewis, adopted Theodore. Chicago Tribune, 6 Oct. 2022 Desperate and suffering from mental illness, Gladys tries twice to rid herself of Norma Jean, which lands mom in an asylum and daughter in an orphanage. Joey Morona, cleveland, 27 Sep. 2022 His mother, Brenda Paak Bills, of Black and Korean heritage, was adopted from a South Korean orphanage by a Black American couple who lived in Compton and then in Oxnard. Adam Bradley Adam Bradley Photographs By D’angelo Lovell Williams Styled By Ian Bradley Nick Haramis Photographs By Lise Sarfati Styled By Suzanne Koller Sasha Weiss Photographs By Justin French Susan Dominus Photographs By Luis Alberto Rodriguez Styled By Charlotte Collet, New York Times, 13 Oct. 2022 While in a French orphanage, Wiesel’s picture was taken by a journalist who came to visit. Cnn Library, CNN, 10 Oct. 2022 At age 16, Monroe married 21-year-old Jim Dougherty to avoid being placed back in the orphanage system. Grant Wong, Smithsonian Magazine, 26 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

Word History


orphan entry 1 + -age, after Middle Frenchorphelinage

First Known Use

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of orphanage was in 1579

Dictionary Entries Near orphanage

Cite this Entry

“Orphanage.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/orphanage. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition



or·​phan·​age ˈȯrf-(ə-)nij How to pronounce orphanage (audio)
: an institution for the care of orphans

More from Merriam-Webster on orphanage

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