poly·​clin·​ic ˌpä-lē-ˈkli-nik How to pronounce polyclinic (audio)
: a clinic or hospital treating diseases of many sorts

Examples of polyclinic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web At least 70 percent of people who visited polyclinics in the past week suffered from high blood pressure, officials said. Maite Fernández Simon, Washington Post, 29 May 2023 Medical director Richard Budgett said care for athletes is being provided by their own team medical staff and a polyclinic at the village. BostonGlobe.com, 30 July 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'polyclinic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


earlier, "outpatient department of a hospital," alteration, by conformation to poly-, of policlinic, borrowed from German Poliklinik, Policlinik, earlier, "clinic associated with a university where supervised medical students treat members of the town population," from Greek poli-, stem of pólis "citadel, city, community of citizens" + Klinik, Clinik clinic, after earlier poliklinisch, adjective — more at police entry 1

Note: The first such policlinic in Germany was apparently established in Heidelberg by the physician Jacob Fidelis Ackermann (1765-1815). Compare the mention in a contemporary journal (Intelligenz-Blatt der allgemeinen Literatur-Zeitung, no. 170, October 30, 1805, p. 1407): "Zu den vielen vortrefflichen Anstalten, welche unsere Universität … auszeichnen, kömmt nun, seit dem Anfange des Wintersemesters, ein ambulatorisches Clinicum für Heidelberg und dessen Nachbarschaft, oder eine sogenannte poliklinische Anstalt, unter der Direction des Hn. geh. Hofr. Ackermann." ("The many splendid institutions which distinguish our university have now been joined, since the beginning of the winter semester, by an outpatient clinic for Heidelberg and its vicinity, or a so-called polyclinic institution, under the direction of Herr Privy Councilor Ackermann.")

First Known Use

1884, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of polyclinic was in 1884

Dictionary Entries Near polyclinic

Cite this Entry

“Polyclinic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polyclinic. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


poly·​clin·​ic ˌpäl-i-ˈklin-ik How to pronounce polyclinic (audio)
: a clinic or hospital treating diseases of many sorts compare policlinic

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