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American Dictionary of the English Language

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Asylum


ASY'LUM, noun [Latin from Gr. safe from spoil, and spoil, to plunder.]

1. A sanctuary, or place of refuge, where criminals and debtors shelter themselves from justice, and from which they cannot be taken without sacrilege. Temples and altars were anciently asylums; as were tombs, statues and monuments. The ancient heathens allowed asylums for the protection of the vilest criminals; and the Jews had their cities of refuge.

2. Any place of retreat and security.