In United States usage, the word dormitory means a building primarily providing sleeping and residential quarters for large numbers of people, often boarding school, college or university students. In the US it is common for residents (typically two) to share a bedroom. In the US these buildings are often single sex, or sexes are accommodated on separate floors. In United Kingdom usage, the word dormitory means a room containing several beds accommodating unrelated people. In the United Kingdom, this arrangement exists typically for pupils at a boarding school, travellers or military personnel, but is almost entirely unknown for university students. In United Kingdom usage, a building providing sleeping and residential quarters for large numbers of people is called a hall of residence (university students), house (members of a religious community or pupils at a boarding school), hostel (students, workers or travellers) or barracks (military personnel). In the United Kingdom, Halls of Residence almost entirely have single occupancy rooms. In the United Kingdom, halls of residence are almost always mixed sex, with residents being allocated to adjacent rooms regardless of sex. The word dormitory (often abbreviated to dorm) comes originally from the Latin word dormitorium. Worldwide, it is unusual for unrelated mixed sex occupancy of a bedroom except temporarily (for example in a [travel] hostel or a railway sleeping car).
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