What does orphanage mean?

Definitions for orphanage
ˈɔr fə nɪdʒor·phan·age

Here are all the possible meanings 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 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. Said Thompson:

    We were able to get my daughter and 43 children from her orphanage in the Donetsk region moved the day after the war started.

  2. Tony Massarotti:

    What bugs me about a story like this is when they use the word ‘tragedy,’ a tragedy is what happened at that church in Texas this past weekend, or an orphanage burning down. This? You know what the risks are!

  3. Lani Dickinson:

    When I came to the orphanage, there wasn't any information left behind, a lot of my birth culture was lost and forgotten.

  4. Saeed Abedini:

    He said you are here because you want to use Christianity to remove government and it was like no, I don’t want to do that, I just came here to start orphanage, loving people and share the gospel with people and just that.

  5. 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.'.

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Translations for orphanage

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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