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[laz-uh-ret-oh] /ˌlæz əˈrɛt oʊ/
noun, plural lazarettos.
a hospital for those affected with contagious diseases, especially leprosy.
a building or a ship set apart for quarantine purposes.
Also called glory hole. Nautical. a small storeroom within the hull of a ship, especially one at the extreme stern.
Also, lazaret, lazarette
[laz-uh-ret] /ˌlæz əˈrɛt/ (Show IPA)
Origin of lazaretto
1540-50; < Upper Italian (Venetian) lazareto, blend of lazzaro lazar and Nazareto popular name of a hospital maintained in Venice by the Church of Santa Maria di Nazaret Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for lazarette
Historical Examples
  • On deck, I had all the reef-earrings brought up from the lazarette, and got everything in readiness for any emergency.

    The Flying Bo'sun Arthur Mason
  • The deck being blown up, it had fallen down into the lazarette of course.

    Youth Joseph Conrad
  • The lazarette deck came so low that we had to squat when still or move upon our knees.

    The Frozen Pirate W. Clark Russell
  • Haven't I spent a half hour in the lazarette looking and listening for just such sounds as you describe?

    The Flying Bo'sun Arthur Mason
  • I lifted the trap in the floor, but for some moments gazed dubiously into the darkness of the lazarette beneath.

    The Sea-Wolf Jack London
  • I'm reely pained y'know, that your vally can't come along, but we'll have your piano set up in the lazarette.

  • And I know that they came up out of the lazarette, the three of them, dripping with perspiration and baffled.

  • The forecastle was lumbered with ship's chandlery, the hold nigh full of rice, the lazarette crowded with the teas and silks.

    The Wrecker Robert Louis Stevenson and Lloyd Osbourne
  • Again I went below; but before I dropped into the lazarette I took the precaution of casting down the door in advance.

    The Sea-Wolf Jack London
  • He rolled to the lazarette aft the cabin and began hauling out the big mainsail.

    "Captains Courageous" Rudyard Kipling
British Dictionary definitions for lazarette


noun (pl) -rettos, -rets, -rettes
(nautical) Also called glory hole. a small locker at the stern of a boat or a storeroom between decks of a ship
Also called lazar house, pesthouse. (formerly) a hospital for persons with infectious diseases, esp leprosy
Word Origin
C16: Italian, from lazzarolazar
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 lazarette



"house for reception of lepers and diseased poor persons," 1540s, from Italian lazareto "place set aside for performance of quarantine" (especially that of Venice, which received many ships from plague-infested districts in the East), from the Biblical proper name Lazarus. Meaning "building set apart for quarantine" is c.1600 in English. The word in Italian was perhaps influenced by the name of another hospital in Venice, that associated with the church of Santa Maria di Nazaret.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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