- an institution for the housing and care of orphans.
- the state of being an orphan; orphanhood.
- Archaic. orphans collectively.
- an institution for orphans and abandoned children
- the state of being an orphan
n.1570s, “condition of being an orphan,” from orphan (n.) + -age. Meaning “home for orphans” is from 1865 (earlier was orphan house, 1711).