Know these essential literary terms?
early 15c., earlier asile (late 14c.), from Latin asylum "sanctuary," from Greek asylon "refuge," noun use of neuter of asylos "inviolable, safe from violence," especially of persons seeking protection, from a- "without" + syle "right of seizure." So literally "an inviolable place." General sense of "safe or secure place" is from 1640s; meaning "benevolent institution to shelter some class of persons" is from 1776.
asylum a·sy·lum (ə-sī'ləm)
An institution for the care of people, especially individuals with physical or mental impairments, who require organized supervision or assistance.