An infirmary is a hospital, or the area of an institution that's used as a hospital. If you come down with chickenpox at summer camp, you might have to spend a few nights in the camp infirmary.

While you can call a hospital an infirmary, you're most likely to do this if you're British and referring to a specific hospital, like the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. Infirmaries are usually spaces within larger buildings that provide healthcare. Inmates go to the prison infirmary when they're sick, and soldiers get their checkups at the military base infirmary. The earliest infirmaries were in monasteries. The Latin root is infirmus, "weak or frail."

Definitions of infirmary
  1. noun
    a health facility where patients receive treatment
    synonyms: hospital
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    creche, foundling hospital
    a hospital where foundlings (infant children of unknown parents) are taken in and cared for
    lazar house, lazaret, lazarette, lazaretto, pesthouse
    hospital for persons with infectious diseases (especially leprosy)
    maternity hospital
    a hospital that provides care for women during pregnancy and childbirth and for newborn infants
    asylum, insane asylum, institution, mental home, mental hospital, mental institution, psychiatric hospital
    a hospital for mentally incompetent or unbalanced people
    military hospital
    hospital for soldiers and other military personnel
    sanatarium, sanatorium, sanitarium
    a hospital for recuperation or for the treatment of chronic diseases
    Bedlam, booby hatch, crazy house, cuckoo's nest, funny farm, funny house, loony bin, madhouse, nut house, nuthouse, sanatorium, snake pit
    pejorative terms for an insane asylum
    field hospital
    a temporary military hospital near the battle lines
    type of:
    health facility, healthcare facility, medical building
    building where medicine is practiced
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