[ a-bey, ab-ey; French a-bey ]
See synonyms for: abb%C3%A9abb%C3%A9s on

noun,plural ab·bés [a-beyz, ab-eyz; French a-bey]. /æˈbeɪz, ˈæb eɪz; French aˈbeɪ/.
  1. (especially in France)

    • a member of the secular clergy.

    • a title of respect for any ecclesiastic or clergyman.

Origin of abbé

First recorded in 1520–30; from French, Middle French, from Late Latin abbāte(m), accusative of abbās abbot

Words Nearby abbé Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use abbé in a sentence

  • Like the Abbe Sieyes, Mr. Paine had completely mastered the science of government, which was in fact extremely simple.

  • He was a descendant of the famous Abbe de Camps, so well known among bookmen and savants.

    Repertory Of The Comedie Humaine, Complete, A -- Z | Anatole Cerfberr and Jules Franois Christophe
  • A few more Abbe de Pradits, a few more newspaper articles, and from being an emperor, Napoleon would have turned into an ogre.

    Catherine de' Medici | Honore de Balzac
  • Abbe Stadler might well say to the stranger from Poland that Vienna was no longer what it used to be.

  • The Abbe Deforges, of Etampes, announced in the journals in 1772 that he would perform the great feat.

    Wonderful Balloon Ascents | Fulgence Marion

British Dictionary definitions for Abbe (1 of 2)


/ (ˈæbɪ, German ˈaːbə) /

  1. Ernst. 1840–1905, German physicist, noted for his work in optics and the microscope condenser known as the Abbe condenser

British Dictionary definitions for abbé (2 of 2)


/ (ˈæbeɪ, French abe) /

  1. a French abbot

  2. a title used in addressing any other French cleric, such as a priest

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012