1. Protection and immunity from extradition granted by a government to a political refugee from another country.
a. A place offering protection and safety; a shelter. See Synonyms at shelter.
b. Protection or shelter; refuge: viewed her friend's apartment as a place of asylum.
c. A place, such as a church, formerly constituting an inviolable refuge for criminals or debtors.
3. An institution for the care of people, especially those with physical or mental disabilities, who require organized supervision or assistance.
[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.]
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