- 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.Licensed from iStockPhoto
- 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: Middle English abbeie ; from Old French abaie ; from Ecclesiastical Late Latin abbatia, abbacy
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
noun pl. ab·beys
- 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: Middle English, from Old French abaie, from Late Latin abbātia; see abbacy.
, Edwin Austin 1852-1911.