m) KEY NOUN:
- An institution for the care of people, especially those with physical or mental impairments, who require organized supervision or assistance.
- A place offering protection and safety; a shelter.
- A place, such as a church, formerly constituting an inviolable refuge for criminals or debtors.
- The protection afforded by a sanctuary. See Synonyms at shelter.
- Protection and immunity from extradition granted by a government to a political refugee from another country.
Middle English asilum
, from Latin aslum
, from Greek aslon
, from neuter of aslos
; see a-1
, right of seizure