Last modified on 10 December 2014, at 09:35




From Middle English sykhous, sek hous (hospital, literally a house for the sick), equivalent to sick +‎ house. Cognate with West Frisian sikehûs (hospital), Dutch ziekenhuis (hospital), Danish sygehus (hospital), Swedish sjukhus (hospital). Compare also German Krankenhaus (hospital).


sickhouse (plural sickhouses)

  1. A place where sick or injured people are cared for; a hospital.
    • 1830, Frederic William Naylor Bayley, Four years' residence in the West Indies:
      The sickhouse was a cool, capacious, and convenient building, well adapted to the purpose for which it was used.
    • 1993, Robert Jordan, The shadow rising:
      What was still called the new sickhouse, where people were taken to be tended if their illness was contagious, [...]
    • 2002, Sharla M. Fett, Working cures:
      Four months after giving birth to a daughter, Peggy returned to the sickhouse with a "rising breast," [...]