Definition of bedlam in English:


Syllabification: bed·lam
Pronunciation: /ˈbedləm


  • 2.1 archaic An institution for the care of mentally ill people.
    More example sentences
    • Once, people were shut up in bedlams - usually indefinitely and in terrible conditions.
    • Soviet dissidents were political heretics, and though they did not burn on the stake, they were sent to bedlams for their sins.
    • They have been consulting on what to do with those who have severe personality disorders and they seem set to turn back the clock a century by locking them up in Bedlams and throwing away the key.


late Middle English: early form of Bethlehem, referring to the hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem in London, used as an institution for the insane.

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