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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), Low German Süükhuus, Sükenhuus (hospital), Danish sygehus (hospital), Swedish sjukhus (hospital), Icelandic sjúkrahús (hospital). Compare also German Krankenhaus (hospital), Saterland Frisian Kroankenhuus (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," []