from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A facility that provides emergency, inpatient, and usually outpatient medical care for sick or injured people.
  • noun A facility that provides veterinary care for sick or injured animals.
  • noun Chiefly British A charitable institution, such as an orphanage or a home for the elderly.
  • noun A repair shop for specified items.
  • noun Archaic A hospice for travelers or pilgrims.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Hospitable.
  • noun A place of shelter or entertainment; an inn.
  • noun An institution or establishment for dispensing hospitality or caring for the needy; an asylum for shelter or maintenance.
  • noun Now, specifically, an establishment or institution for the care of the sick or wounded, or of such as require medical or surgical treatment.
  • noun In the navy, the designation formerly given to the apothecary.
  • noun The tennis now extended to include establishments for the care and cure of sick or injured animals, such as horses, dogs, cats, etc.
  • To receive and care for in a hospital.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Hospitable.
  • noun obsolete A place for shelter or entertainment; an inn.
  • noun A building in which the sick, injured, or infirm are received and treated; a public or private institution founded for reception and cure, or for the refuge, of persons diseased in body or mind, or disabled, infirm, or dependent, and in which they are treated either at their own expense, or more often by charity in whole or in part; a tent, building, or other place where the sick or wounded of an army cared for.
  • noun a vessel fitted up for a floating hospital.
  • noun a Sunday set apart for simultaneous contribution in churches to hospitals; as, the London Hospital Sunday.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A building designed to diagnose and treat the sick, injured or dying. Usually has a staff of doctors and nurses to aid in the treatment of patients.
  • noun A building founded for the long term care of its residents, such as an almshouse. The residents may have no physical ailments, but simply need financial support.
  • noun obsolete A place of lodging.
  • noun UK The place and state of being hospitalized.
  • adjective obsolete hospitable

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

  • noun a health facility where patients receive treatment
  • noun a medical institution where sick or injured people are given medical or surgical care


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

[Middle English, hospice, from Old French ospital, from Medieval Latin hospitāle, from neuter of Latin hospitālis, of a guest, from hospes, hospit-, guest; see ghos-ti- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French hospital (Modern French hôpital), from Latin hospitālis ("hospitable"), from hospes ("host, guest")


  • It is often met with in those who are much exposed to air contaminated with organisms -- for example, patients who have been long in hospital, or the resident staff of hospitals (_septic_ or _hospital throat_), and particularly in persons of a "rheumatic" tendency.

    Manual of Surgery Volume Second: Extremities—Head—Neck. Sixth Edition.

  • Joe: OH NO!! we got to get him to the hospital right now! (pick up nick and carries him to the car and the girls follow) * they rush to the hospital*


  • +hospital+ (7 in plan), having a frontage of 192 yards, built in the last century on the site of the hospital of St. Martha, founded in 1354.

    The South of France—East Half

  • A patient in hospital is a different person to one who is intent on not complying with instructions from a police officer carrying out his lawful duty.

    London G20 Police outnumbered and attacked « POLICE INSPECTOR BLOG

  • The baby dies; but she pulls through after a few weeks in hospital, is charged with murder, convicted, and sentenced to ten years 'penal servitude.


  • Half a dozen licences were issued to the brothers by Edward III, one of which, dating from 1329, is the first document in which the word hospital is applied to Bethlem.


  • Half a dozen licences were issued to the brothers by Edward III, one of which, dating from 1329, is the first document in which the word hospital is applied to Bethlem.


  • Half a dozen licences were issued to the brothers by Edward III, one of which, dating from 1329, is the first document in which the word hospital is applied to Bethlem.


  • If the hospital is anything like that clinic, it must be a very top-notch place.

    Hermosillo hospital earns international accreditation

  • Lawhorn says his only complaint about the hospital is the long wait.

    Dental problems common cause of ER visits


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  • A town in County Limerick, Ireland.

    January 1, 2008

  • More like a crossroads and a pub, actually. But then that goes for most towns in Ireland, if I think about it.

    January 1, 2008

  • That's exactly what Bastardo in Italy is like. And the 'bastard' was the guy who founded the pub, so he was eventually the point of reference for the locale's name.

    January 1, 2008

  • Americans will say that someone is "in school" or "in prison", but not "in hospital". Instead, the usual phrasing is "in the hospital".

    I'm American, but I don't understand this. Britons say "in hospital" -- why don't we?

    I'd also be curious to learn which phrasing Canadians and Australians and New Zealanders use.

    October 16, 2013

  • Interesting. You get the same distinction with “go to” – you “go to school”, but “go to the hospital.” To me it seems the distinction has something to do with the purpose for being in the institution. You’re in school for an education and in prison for punishment or reform, both longer-term processes, whereas you’re in the hospital for a (hopefully) short-term procedure. Similarly, you go to a/the restaurant or bar for a short duration experience , you don’t “go to restaurant.” Or: “so-and-so celebrity completed their court-ordered 90-day stint in rehab” vs. “…stint in the rehab.” Of course that theory pretty well gets knocked down when you say English speakers in other lands don’t make that distinction. And I can further shoot down my theory with the phrases “he’s in prison” vs. “he’s in the pen.” So it’s probably all just arbitrary.

    October 16, 2013

  • Could it be due to the French influence on English?
    aller à l'hôpital = "go to the hospital"

    aller en prison = "go to jail"

    I guess it may be arbitrary, as 
    go to school is "aller à l'école"

    October 16, 2013

  • In Australia and NZ the use of 'go to hospital' and 'in hospital' is perfectly normal and acceptable.

    October 16, 2013