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[in-fur-muh-ree] /ɪnˈfɜr mə ri/
noun, plural infirmaries.
a place for the care of the infirm, sick, or injured; hospital or facility serving as a hospital:
a school infirmary.
a dispensary.
Origin of infirmary
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English < Medieval Latin infirmāria. See infirm, -ary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for infirmary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The remains of the infirmary and little cloisters are on the north of the cloister.

  • The infirmary seems to have been the most cheerful place in the monastery.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • Guards had been placed at the entrances to the plaza so that the people, anxious for news, should not invade the infirmary.

    The Blood of the Arena Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • He was taken into the infirmary, and when there he had confessed everything.

    My Double Life Sarah Bernhardt
  • She went to the infirmary along with her husband, to see how the child was going on, and what hurt it had sustained.

    Sleep and Its Derangements William A. Hammond
  • And where would the costumes for the play have been, with you laid up in the infirmary for a month?

    Betty Wales Senior Margaret Warde
  • He carries his desolation with him, and the infirmary or the river will be the end of him.

    London's Underworld Thomas Holmes
British Dictionary definitions for infirmary


noun (pl) -ries
a place for the treatment of the sick or injured; dispensary; hospital
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 infirmary

mid-15c., "sick bay in a monastery," from Medieval Latin infirmaria "a place for the infirm," from Latin infirmus "weak, frail," (see infirm). The common name for a public hospital in 18c. England.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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infirmary in Medicine

infirmary in·fir·ma·ry (ĭn-fûr'mə-rē)
A place for the care of the infirm, sick, or injured, especially a small hospital or clinic in an institution or school.

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