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asylum (noun) protection offered to those in danger because of their political or religious beliefs or actions; a place offering such protection; (old use) a hospital for usually a prolonged treatment of mental patients.
When persons persecuted in their own country for their political or religious beliefs or actions, seek shelter in another country and are granted it, they are granted religious or political asylum, as the case may be. That is, they are offered protection. The country granting such asylum is also an asylum. A hospital providing treatment, usually for long periods, to mentally unsound people is also an asylum.
- Trotsky, the Soviet leader and contemporary of Stalin, had differed with Stalin on many political matters, so his life was in danger. He sought political asylum in the US and was granted it. Later, however, he was murdered in the US.
- The United States began its history in the seventeenth century, as a place, which offered asylum to the Pilgrim Fathers, who left England for the New World, fearing religious persecution, following the restoration of King Charles II to the throne there.
- Totally cracked because of a series of misfortunes, Lucy is spending time in a mental asylum, as her husband Jonathan helplessly waits for her recovery.