spital (plural spitals)
- (historical) A charitable house to receive and care for sick people, later distinguished from a hospital as being especially for those of a low class or meagre financial means.
- 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 1, member 3:
- Put up a supplication to him in the name of a thousand orphans, an hospital, a spital, a prison, as he goes by, they cry out to him for aid, ride on, surdo narras, he cares not […]
Borrowed from German Spital (especially the variant form șpital), ultimately from Latin hospitalis. Alternatively from Italian ospitale (in particular the form ospital), through the intermediate of Greek σπιτάλι (spitáli). Doublet of hotel.