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[hos-pi-tl] /ˈhɒs pɪ tl/
an institution in which sick or injured persons are given medical or surgical treatment.
a similar establishment for the care of animals.
a repair shop for specific portable objects:
violin hospital; doll hospital.
British. an institution supported by charity or taxes for the care of the needy, as an orphanage or old people's home.
Origin of hospital
1250-1300; Middle English hospitale < Medieval Latin, noun use of neuter of Latin hospitālis hospitable, equivalent to hospit- (see hospitium) + -ālis -al1
Related forms
minihospital, noun
multihospital, adjective
posthospital, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for hospital
  • The aquarium even has a turtle hospital to treat injured sea turtles.
  • Gridlocked cities are unable to ship goods around or deliver people to hospital, and it's important that those things take place.
  • If they were in the hospital getting treated the prayer didn't have anything to do with denial of treatment.
  • The officers dropped him off at a local hospital but did not secure medical attention for him there.
  • It is also cheaper to house the mentally ill behind bars than in a state hospital.
  • Suffering from a concussion, a motorcyclist insisted on being married before going to the hospital.
  • He spent the night following the game in a hospital.
  • In the end, my dad was fine and never had to go to the hospital.
  • Most dirt poor farmers with cancer in those days ended up in the poor ward in a state or city hospital.
  • They took her to a village clinic and to a rural hospital.
British Dictionary definitions for hospital


an institution for the medical, surgical, obstetric, or psychiatric care and treatment of patients
(modifier) having the function of a hospital: a hospital ship
a repair shop for something specified: a dolls' hospital
(archaic) a charitable home, hospice, or school
Word Origin
C13: from Medieval Latin hospitāle hospice, from Latin hospitālis relating to a guest, from hospes, hospit- 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 hospital

mid-13c., "shelter for the needy," from Old French hospital, ospital "hostel" (Modern French hôpital), from Late Latin hospitale "guest-house, inn," neuter of Latin adjective hospitalis "of a guest or host," from hospes (genitive hospitis); see host (n.1). Later "charitable institution to house and maintain the needy" (early 15c.); sense of "institution for sick people" is first recorded 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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hospital in Medicine

hospital hos·pi·tal (hŏs'pĭ-tl, -pĭt'l)
An institution that provides medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and treatment for the sick or the injured.

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