From A.D. 1250 in Middle English abbey, abbeye (“convent headed by an abbot”) (compare archaic English abbaye), itself borrowed from Old French abaïe, abbaïe, abeïe, abbeïe (Modern French abbaye) from Late Latin or Ecclesiastical Latin abbātia, from Classical Latin abbās (“abbot”). Doublet of abbacy. See abbot.
abbey (plural abbeys)
- The office or dominion of an abbot or abbess. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.]
- A monastery or society of people, secluded from the world and devoted to religion and celibacy, which is headed by an abbot or abbess; also, the monastic building or buildings. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.]
- From 1199 to 1203 William Punchard was the abbot of the abbey of Rievaulx, which was part of the Cistercian order of monks.
- The church of a monastery. [First attested around 1150 to 1350.]
- (Britain) A residence that was previously an abbatial building.[Mid 16th century.]
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
abbey (plural abbeyes)
- An abbey (a building or monastic institution).
- The church located inside a monastery.
- (rare) Abbotship; abbacy.