- The definition of an abbey is building or complex where monks live and are supervised by an abbot or where nuns live and are supervised by an abbess.
An example of an abbey is a convent.
Westminster Abbey in London.
- a monastery headed by an abbot, or a convent of nuns headed by an abbess
- the monks or nuns in such a place, collectively
- a church or building belonging to an abbey
Origin of abbeyMiddle English abbeie ; from Old French abaie ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin abbatia, abbacy
- A monastery supervised by an abbot.
- A convent supervised by an abbess.
- A church that is or once was part of a monastery or convent.
Origin of abbeyMiddle English, from Old French abaie, from Late Latin abbātia; see abbacy.
- 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.]
- (UK) A residence that was previously an abbatial building. [Mid 16th century.]
- (capitalized) In London, the Abbey is short for Westminster Abbey, and in Scotland, the precincts of the Abbey of Holyrood.
From 1250 in Middle English as abbeye (“convent headed by an abbot”) (compare archaic English abbaye), from Old French abaïe, abbaïe, abeïe, abbeïe (Modern French abbaye) from Late Latin abbātia, from Classical Latin abbās (“abbot”). See abbot.