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[hos-pis] /ˈhɒs pɪs/
a house of shelter or rest for pilgrims, strangers, etc., especially one kept by a religious order.
  1. a health-care facility for the terminally ill that emphasizes pain control and emotional support for the patient and family, typically refraining from taking extraordinary measures to prolong life.
  2. a similar program of care and support for the terminally ill at home.
Origin of hospice
1810-20; < French < Latin hospitium hospitium Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hospice
  • Patients and their families too often hesitate to call hospice.
  • But this support was supposed to be short-term, not continuous: a central bank should be an emergency room, not a hospice.
  • Now they are setting up hospice to come into th house.
  • For those who never will, there is a hospice in the countryside.
  • There was a hospice nurse in the room, and morphine.
  • My stepfather had hospice in place when he was dying of lung cancer.
  • There's chemotherapy and diagnostic imaging and hospice care and drug design.
  • The patient must be advised on alternative options, such as hospice care.
  • The papers reported that he was receiving hospice care.
  • So for an endangered species the zoo may be more of a hospice than a rehabilitation center.
British Dictionary definitions for hospice


noun (pl) hospices
a nursing home that specializes in caring for the terminally ill
(archaic) Also called hospitium (hɒˈspɪtɪəm), (pl) hospitia (hɒˈspɪtɪə). a place of shelter for travellers, esp one kept by a monastic order
Word Origin
C19: from French, from Latin hospitium hospitality, from hospes guest, host1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hospice

1818, "rest house for travelers," from French hospice (13c.), from Latin hospitium "guest house, hospitality," from hospes (genitive hospitis) "guest, host" (see host (n.1)). Sense of "home for the aged and terminally ill " is from 1893; hospice movement first attested 1979.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hospice in Medicine

hospice hos·pice (hŏs'pĭs)
A program or facility that provides palliative care and attends to the emotional, spiritual, social, and financial needs of terminally ill patients at a facility or at a patient's home.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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