ab·​bé | \ a-ˈbā How to pronounce abbé (audio) , ˈa-ˌbā \

Definition of abbé

: a member of the French secular clergy in major or minor orders used as a title

Examples of abbé in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After his death just five years later, the paintings were inventoried simply as depictions of the basilica and square without any mention of the poor abbe. Steven Litt,, ""Eyewitness Views" at Cleveland Museum of Art revives forgotten meanings of 18th century 'view paintings' (photos," 25 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abbé.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of abbé

1530, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abbé

borrowed from French, literally, "abbot" (extended as a title to nonresident abbots and hence to any clergyman in a secular environment), going back to Old French abé, going back to Late Latin abbāt-, abbās abbot

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Cite this Entry

“Abbé.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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