See more synonyms for abbey on
noun, plural ab·beys.
  1. a monastery under the supervision of an abbot or a convent under the supervision of an abbess.
  2. the group of buildings comprising such a monastery or convent.
  3. the church of an abbey.

Origin of abbey

1200–50; Middle English abbey(e) < Old French abeie < Late Latin abbātia abbacy


  1. Edward,1927–89, U.S. novelist and nature writer.
  2. Edwin Austin,1852–1911, U.S. painter and illustrator.
  3. a female given name, form of Abigail. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for abbey


  1. a building inhabited by a community of monks or nuns governed by an abbot or abbess
  2. a church built in conjunction with such a building
  3. such a community of monks or nuns

Word Origin for abbey

C13: via Old French abeie from Church Latin abbātia abbacy
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

Word Origin and History for abbey

mid-13c., "convent headed by an abbot or abbess," from Anglo-French abbeie, Old French abaïe, from Late Latin abbatia, from abbas (genitive abbatis); see abbot.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper