A name often given to a hospital in France during the Middle Ages. Hotel-Dieu literally means the hotel (of) God. In Paris, the Hôtel-Dieu is a venerable and famed hospital.

A hospital can also be a place to take care of inanimate objects and serve as a “repair shop for specified small objects” such as, for example, a clock hospital.

The word “hospital” has a remarkable history. It comes from the Latin “hospes” which refers to either a visitor or the host who receives the visitor. (In French, the “hote” also means both the guest and the host). From “hospes” came the Latin “hospitalia”, an apartment for strangers or guests, and the medieval Latin “hospitale” and the Old French “hospital.” It crossed the Channel in the 14th century and in England began a semantic shift in the 15th century to mean a home for the elderly or infirm or a home for the down-and-out. The word only took on its modern meaning as “an institution where sick or injured are given medical or surgical care” in the 16th century. Many other words are related to hospital (and hotel) including hospice, hospitality, hospitable, host, hostel, etc.

Read Also:

  • Hounsfield

    1. Godfrey Hounsfield, a key contributor to the creation of the CAT scanner. 2. The unit measuring the brightness of images that appear on a CAT scanner.

  • Hounsfield, Godfrey

    (1919-2004) British electrical engineer whose contributions to the creation of the computerized axial tomography scanner (the CAT scan) won him a share of the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1979. Hounsfield shared the award with the South African-born scientist Allan M. Cormack (1924-1998) who spent much of his career in the US. […]

  • House

    Hospital. As in house officer, house staff, and house surgeon.

  • House officer

    A resident physician and surgeon of a hospital (the “house”) who is receiving further training, usually in a medical or surgical specialty, while caring for patients under the direction of an attending physician.

  • House staff

    The resident physicians of a hospital who care for patients under the direction of the attending staff. House in this context refers to the hospital.

Disclaimer: Hotel-Dieu definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.