American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. An institution for the care of people, especially those with physical or mental impairments, who require organized supervision or assistance.
- n. A place offering protection and safety; a shelter.
- n. A place, such as a church, formerly constituting an inviolable refuge for criminals or debtors.
- n. The protection afforded by a sanctuary. See Synonyms at shelter.
- n. Protection and immunity from extradition granted by a government to a political refugee from another country.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A sanctuary or place of refuge where criminals and debtors formerly sought shelter from justice, and from which they could not be taken without sacrilege.
- n. Hence Inviolable shelter; protection from pursuit or arrest; security of the person: as, the right of asylum, that is, of furnishing such protection. Most Grecian temples had anciently this right, and the custom, following Jewish analogies, passed into the Christian church. From the fourth century the churches had widely extended rights of asylum, but modern legislation has nearly everywhere ended the custom. (See
sanctuary.) In international law, the right of asylum was formerly claimed for the houses of ambassadors. The term now specifically signifies the right of one state to receive and shelter persons accused of crimes, or especially of political offenses, committed in another. See extradition.
- n. Any place of retreat and security.
- n. Specifically An institution for receiving, maintaining, and, so far as possible, ameliorating the condition of persons suffering from bodily defects, mental maladies, or other misfortunes: as, an asylum for the blind, for the deaf and dumb, for the insane, etc.; a magdalen asylum.
- n. a phrase used by Spinoza to denote the pronouncing of any matter to be a mystery in order to evade arguments against its reality.
- n. A place of safety
- n. The protection, physical and legal, afforded by such a place.
- n. A place of protection or restraint for one or more classes of the disadvantaged, especially the mentally ill.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A sanctuary or place of refuge and protection, where criminals and debtors found shelter, and from which they could not be forcibly taken without sacrilege.
- n. Any place of retreat and security.
- n. An institution for the protection or relief of some class of destitute, unfortunate, or afflicted persons
- n. a hospital for mentally incompetent or unbalanced person
- n. a shelter from danger or hardship
- Middle English asilum, refuge, from Latin asȳlum, from Greek asūlon, sanctuary, from neuter of asūlos, inviolable : a-, without; see a-1 + sūlon, right of seizure. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“It stars a few recognisable names and is getting quite a bit of praise for the comical yet relevant look at the people behind the term asylum seekers.”
“I think, if anything, it's causing people to look at the term asylum and put it in a 21st century defenition”
“Samantha Haque: Do you think that there's a danger that Andre's case trivializes the term asylum seeker?”
“The young woman had recoiled from the word "asylum", and her reasons became clear.”
“So from that came the idea of the universe turned inside out, if you like - he built this house to enclose the universe, which he called the asylum, and he really thought that was what the universe should be put into, an asylum, and that he would live outside the asylum and look after it.”
“They didn’t do this for other immigrants, but the word asylum has a strong, almost spiritual pull to it, suggesting suffering in a way that the word guest worker does not.”
“To critics who accuse the government of going easy on criminal foreigners, Jamal's case illustrates that Germany's system of immigration and asylum is broken.”
“No wood, however, was placed on the earth, which formed the floor, but it was dry; and although the wind entered it by innumerable chinks, I found it an agreeable asylum from the snow and rain.”
“The asylum is still being run by lunatics. on March 24, 2010 at 6: 55 pm Concerned”
“He is requesting asylum from the lunatic fringe that has sunk the GOP.”
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