Definition of convent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkänˌvent/


1A Christian community under monastic vows, especially one of nuns.
Example sentences
  • Christian monasteries and convents assumed this role in the Middle Ages to discourage the abandonment of children and unwanted infants.
  • In ten short years, several historic monasteries and convents have been restored to the Orthodox church and have welcomed hundreds of young novices.
  • Soon the effects of the new teaching were widely felt, with monks and nuns leaving their monasteries and convents.
1.1 (also convent school) A school, especially one for girls, attached to and run by convent.
Example sentences
  • I thought of the convent school in which I was educated from kindergarten to high school.
  • Robert spent his first six months of schooling at the convent school as it was not so far to walk.
  • She was educated at a convent school, married a dashing young Indian doctor - a cousin-by-marriage to the Queen Mother - and began a happy union which was to take her halfway round the world.
1.2The building or buildings occupied by a convent.
Example sentences
  • The new application sought permission to convert and refurbish the convent and erect two buildings on the site.
  • Pioneering work in the diocese at this time was extremely difficult, setting out lands for the building of schools, convents etc.
  • This building - a convent in a former life - was plain, but just like the gardens, well cared-for.


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin conventus 'assembly, company', from the verb convenire (see convene). The original spelling was covent (surviving in the place name Covent Garden); the modern form dates from the 16th century.

  • Convent was originally spelled covent, a spelling that survives in the London place name Covent Garden. The word came into English via Old French from Latin conventus ‘an assembly or company’, based on convenire ‘to come together’. Convene (Late Middle English), ‘to call people together for a meeting’, has the same origin; as does convenient (Late Middle English) ‘assembling or agreeing’; coven (mid 17th century) ‘gathering of witches’; and covenant (Middle English) ‘an agreement’.

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Syllabification: con·vent

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