Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A shelter or lodging for travelers, pilgrims, foundlings, or the destitute, especially one maintained by a monastic order.
  • n. A program that provides palliative care and attends to the emotional and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients at an inpatient facility or at the patient's home.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The provision of palliative care for terminally ill patients, either at a specialized facility or at a residence, and support for the family, typically refraining from taking extraordinary measures to prolong life.
  • n. A specialized facility or organization offering palliative care for the terminally ill.
  • n. A lodging for pilgrims or the destitute, normally provided by a monastic order.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A convent or monastery which is also a place of refuge or entertainment for travelers on some difficult road or pass, as in the Alps. Bernard.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A house of entertainment and refuge for strangers; especially, such an establishment kept by monks on some passes in the Alps to give shelter and aid to travelers.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a lodging for travelers (especially one kept by a monastic order)
  • n. a program of medical and emotional care for the terminally ill

Etymologies

French, from Old French, from Latin hospitium, hospitality, from hospes, hospit-, host; see ghos-ti- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French hospice, from Old French hospise, from Latin hospitium ("hospitality, an inn"). (Wiktionary)

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