a house of shelter or rest for pilgrims, strangers, etc., especially one kept by a religious order.
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.
a similar program of care and support for the terminally ill at home.

1810–20; < French < Latin hospitium hospitium

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World English Dictionary
hospice (ˈhɒspɪs)
n , pl hospices, hospitia
1.  a nursing home that specializes in caring for the terminally ill
2.  archaic Also called: hospitium a place of shelter for travellers, esp one kept by a monastic order
[C19: from French, from Latin hospitium hospitality, from hospes guest, host1]

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Word Origin & History

1818, "rest house for travelers," from Fr. hospice, from L. hospitum "guest house, hospitality," from hospes (gen. hospitis) "guest, host" (see host (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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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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.

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Example sentences
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.
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