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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
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The hospital had been a place of refuge, she hated to leave it.

    To Love Margaret Peterson
  • They've just brought an hombre with a crushed leg into the hospital.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • His father had given it to him in the hospital where Dickie was taken to say good-bye to him.

    Harding's luck E. [Edith] Nesbit
  • He scouted the idea of going to a hospital and Nan insisted on taking him home.

    The Root of Evil Thomas Dixon
  • I go to the dissection hall at daybreak and then to the hospital.

    The Mesmerist's Victim Alexandre Dumas
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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