Asylum means literally, a place of refuge. An obsolete term for a mental institution.

Webster Dictionary Meaning

1. Asylum
- A sanctuary or place of refuge and protection, where criminals and debtors found shelter, and from which they could not be forcibly taken without sacrilege.
- Any place of retreat and security.
- An institution for the protection or relief of some class of destitute, unfortunate, or afflicted persons; as, an asylum for the aged, for the blind, or for the insane; a lunatic asylum; an orphan asylum.
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