Asylum – Definition & Meaning

Asylum is a term that is often used in discussions about immigration and refugee policies. It is a concept that has been around for centuries, but its meaning and definition have evolved over time. In this article, we will explore the various definitions and associations of asylum, as well as its origins and usage in different contexts.


Asylum is generally defined as a place of refuge or safety, especially for those who are fleeing persecution or danger in their home country. It can also refer to the legal status granted to individuals who are seeking protection from persecution or harm in their home country.


The word asylum comes from the Greek word “asylon,” which means “sanctuary” or “refuge.” In ancient Greece, asylums were sacred places where individuals could seek protection from their enemies, regardless of their social status or crimes they may have committed. The concept of asylum was later adopted by the Roman Empire and spread throughout Europe.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, asylum is defined as “an inviolable place of refuge and protection giving shelter to criminals and debtors.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “a place of refuge and protection, especially for persecuted persons.”


Asylum is often associated with the concept of refugee protection, as individuals who are granted asylum are typically considered refugees. It is also associated with immigration policies and the legal process of seeking asylum, which can be complex and difficult to navigate.


Synonyms for asylum include refuge, sanctuary, shelter, safe haven, and haven.


Antonyms for asylum include danger, hazard, risk, and insecurity.

The same root words

The word asylum shares the same root as other words such as asylum seeker, asylum law, and asylum grant.

Example Sentences

  • The government granted asylum to the refugees fleeing from the war-torn country.
  • The asylum seekers had to wait for months to hear back about their application.
  • The church provided asylum to the homeless during the winter months.
  • The asylum law was amended to make it easier for refugees to apply for protection.
  • The asylum grant gave the refugees the right to live and work in the country.
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