What does orphanage mean?

Definitions for orphanage
ˈɔr fə nɪdʒor·phan·age

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word orphanage.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. orphanage, orphanhoodnoun

    the condition of being a child without living parents

    "his early orphanage shaped his character as an adult"

  2. orphanage, orphans' asylumnoun

    a public institution for the care of orphans


  1. orphanagenoun

    A public institution for the care and protection of orphans.

  2. orphanagenoun

    Orphanhood; the state of being an orphan.

  3. Etymology: Attested since the 1570s;.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Orphanage, Orphanismnoun

    State of an orphan.

    Etymology: orphelinage, Fr. from orphan.


  1. Orphanage

    An orphanage is a residential institution, total institution or group home, devoted to the care of orphans and children who, for various reasons, cannot be cared for by their biological families. The parents may be deceased, absent, or abusive. There may be substance abuse or mental illness in the biological home, or the parent may simply be unwilling to care for the child. The legal responsibility for the support of abandoned children differs from country to country, and within countries. Government-run orphanages have been phased out in most developed countries during the latter half of the 20th century but continue to operate in many other regions internationally. It is now generally accepted that orphanages are detrimental to the emotional wellbeing of children, and government support goes instead towards supporting the family unit. A few large international charities continue to fund orphanages, but most are still commonly founded by smaller charities and religious groups. Especially in developing countries, orphanages may prey on vulnerable families at risk of breakdown and actively recruit children to ensure continued funding. Orphanages in developing countries are rarely run by the state. However, not all orphanages that are state-run are less corrupted; the Romanian orphanages, like those in Bucharest, were founded due to the soaring population numbers catalyzed by dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, who banned abortion and birth control and incentivized procreation in order to increase the Romanian workforce.Today's residential institutions for children, also described as congregate care, include group homes, residential child care communities, children's homes, refuges, rehabilitation centers, night shelters, and youth treatment centers.


  1. orphanage

    An orphanage is an institution or establishment dedicated to the care, support, and housing of orphans and other children who have lost both parents or whose parents are unable to care for them. It provides basic necessities like food, shelter, education, and support to these children until they reach adulthood or are adopted.


  1. Orphanage

    An orphanage is a residential institution devoted to the care of orphans – children whose natural parents are deceased or otherwise unable or unwilling to care for them. Natural parents, and sometimes natural grandparents, are legally responsible for supporting children, but in the absence of these or other relatives willing to care for the children, they become a ward of the state, and orphanages are one way of providing for their care, housing and education. It is frequently used to describe institutions abroad, where it is a more accurate term, since the word orphan has a different definition in international adoption. Although many people presume that most children who live in orphanages are orphans, this is often not the case with four out of five children in orphanages having at least one living parent and most having some extended family. Most orphanages have been closed in Europe and North America. There remain a large number of state funded orphanages in the former Soviet Bloc but many of them are slowly being phased out in favour of direct support to vulnerable families and the development of foster care and adoption services where this is not possible. Few large international charities continue to fund orphanages; however, they are still commonly founded by smaller charities and religious groups. Some orphanages, especially in developing countries, will prey on vulnerable families at risk of breakdown and actively recruit children to ensure continued funding. Orphanages in developing countries are rarely run by the state.

Suggested Resources

  1. orphanage

    Song lyrics by orphanage -- Explore a large variety of song lyrics performed by orphanage on the Lyrics.com website.

How to pronounce orphanage?

How to say orphanage in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of orphanage in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of orphanage in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of orphanage in a Sentence

  1. Carlos Garcia:

    At least, since he [ my father ] passed, we get to be with our family, we don't have to go to an orphanage or anything. I'd rather be here than anywhere else right now.

  2. Georgette Mulheir:

    They pay people called' child finders' who go out into the community and essentially put pressure on parents to give them their children, they will tell parents,' you are poor, you can't afford your child's education. Give them to the orphanage. We'll make sure they have an education, have healthcare, have opportunities that you could never give them.'.

  3. Nyrola Elimä:

    This wasn't their way of life before, we have our home, our garden, we're living with our parents or sister... and now suddenly, someone is living in one city, their parents living in a nursing home, kids in a separate orphanage. What is going on here ?

  4. Nate Mook:

    In Haiti, we started a bakery in an orphanage. It produced bread that generated money to reinvest back into the orphanage.

  5. Kory Puderbaugh:

    I have memories of the orphanage and being visited by somebody who I think might have been my mother, and I remember flying over to America ; I knew something was happening, but I didn't know exactly what.

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Translations for orphanage

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"orphanage." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 19 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/orphanage>.

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    an unincorporated business owned by a single person who is responsible for its liabilities and entitled to its profits
    A aculeate
    B omnifarious
    C proprietary
    D elusive

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