• synonyms


[kon-vent, -vuhnt]
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  1. a community of persons devoted to religious life under a superior.
  2. a society or association of monks, friars, or nuns: now usually used of a society of nuns.
  3. the building or buildings occupied by such a society; a monastery or nunnery.
  4. Obsolete. assembly; meeting.
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Origin of convent

1175–1225; < Medieval Latin conventus; Latin: assembly, coming together, equivalent to conven(īre) (see convene) + -tus suffix of v. action; replacing Middle English covent < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin, as above


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for convent

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • "Grandma Loekermann did it at the convent, ages ago," she told him.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • No, brother; I will put her in a convent, since she has rebelled against me.

  • Either you will marry this gentleman or you will go into a convent.

  • The last scene of the second act is in the gardens of the Convent of Virgins of the Sun.

    Apu Ollantay


  • The manufactories, one and all, are inaccessible as the interior of a Carmelite convent.

    In the Heart of Vosges

    Matilda Betham-Edwards

British Dictionary definitions for convent


  1. a building inhabited by a religious community, usually of nuns
  2. the religious community inhabiting such a building
  3. Also called: convent school a school in which the teachers are nuns
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Word Origin

C13: from Old French covent, from Latin conventus meeting, from convenīre to come together; see convene
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 convent


c.1200, covent, cuvent, from Anglo-French covent, from Old French convent, from Latin conventus "assembly," used in Medieval Latin for "religious house," originally past participle of convenire "come together" (see convene). Not exclusively feminine until 18c. The form with restored Latin -n- emerged early 15c. The Middle English form remains in London's Covent Garden district (notorious late 18c. for brothels), so called because it had been the garden of a defunct monastery.

COVENT GARDEN AGUE. The venereal diſeaſe.
["Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1796]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

convent in Culture


A community of people in a religious order, especially nuns.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.