“Hospital” literally means “a friendly place to rest.”
The Latin noun hospes translates as both “guest” and “host.” The Romans believed that every hospes should be hospitalis, or “friendly.”
When they needed a term to designate an inn or hotel—a place where many people could stay and pay as guests of a friendly host—the Romans coined the word hospitum. Hospes is thus the root for the English words host (where the p was dropped for convenience of pronunciation) hospitality, hospice, hostel and hotel. The latter modern word derives from Latin via the ancient French romance word hostel, which developed a silent s, which letter was eventually removed from the word, the loss of which is signified by a circumflex in the modern French word hôtel and the German word ‘Spital’ also shares similar roots.