Definition of abbey in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈabē/

noun (plural abbeys)

1The building or buildings occupied by a community of monks or nuns.
Example sentences
  • Friaries were occupied by friars, abbeys were headed by abbots, priories by priors.
  • There was a boom in the building of castles, abbeys, and priories.
  • Aelred, a friend and follower of St. Bernard, defined holy friendship for the monks of his abbey.
monastery, convent, priory, cloister, friary, nunnery
historical charterhouse
rare cenobium
1.1A church or house that was formerly an abbey.
Example sentences
  • Her designs can be seen in the cathedrals of St Albans, Exeter, Salisbury and Wells, Bath and Sherborne abbeys, and many churches around the country as well as two venues in America.
  • Our cathedrals and abbeys are better looked after than ever.
  • Internally the decoration is of a type and standard more usually encountered in abbeys and cathedrals.


Middle English: from Old French abbeïe, from medieval Latin abbatia 'abbacy', from abbas, abbat- (see abbot).

Words that rhyme with abbey

cabby, crabby, flabby, gabby, grabby, Rabbie, scabby, shabby, tabby, yabby

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ab·bey

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