Ab"bey (#), n.; pl. Abbeys (#). [OF. abaie, F. abbaye, L. abbatia, fr. abbas abbot. See Abbot.]


A monastery or society of persons of either sex, secluded from the world and devoted to religion and celibacy; also, the monastic building or buildings.

⇒ The men are called monks, and governed by an abbot; the women are called nuns, and governed by an abbess.


The church of a monastery.

In London, the Abbey means Westminster Abbey, and in Scotland, the precincts of the Abbey of Holyrood. The name is also retained for a private residence on the site of an abbey; as, Newstead Abbey, the residence of Lord Byron.

Syn. -- Monastery; convent; nunnery; priory; cloister. See Cloister.


© Webster 1913.