Bedlam meaning

bĕdləm
The definition of a bedlam is a scene of noise and confusion.

A flood displacing hundreds of residents is an example of a bedlam.

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(archaic) Any insane asylum.
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A place or situation of noisy uproar and confusion.
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(archaic) An insane asylum.
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(place, proper) An old insane asylum (in full, St. Mary of Bethlehem), later a hospital for the mentally ill, in London.
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Any place or condition of noise and confusion.
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A place or situation of chaotic uproar, and where confusion prevails.
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Origin of bedlam

  • Middle English Bedlem Hospital of Saint Mary of Bethlehem , an institution in London for the mentally ill

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Bedlam, alternative name of the English lunatic asylum, Bethlem Royal Hospital (royal hospital from 1375, mental hospital from 1403) (earlier St Mary of Bethlehem outside Bishopsgate, hospice in existence from 1329, priory established 1247), sense used to mean “a place or situation of madness and chaos”. Bedlam as name of hospital attested 1450.

    From Wiktionary

  • Phonologically, corruption of Bethlem, itself a corruption of Bethlehem (“a biblical town”), from the Ancient Greek Βηθλεέμ (Bēthleem) from the Hebrew בּית לחם (bet léchem).

    From Wiktionary