ab·​bot ˈa-bət How to pronounce abbot (audio)
: the superior of a monastery for men

Examples of abbot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to Brother Phap Huu, abbot of the monks’ community, rapper, and former personal attendant to Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist leader believed in using musical and artistic expression to make Buddhism relevant for young people. Abigail Lee,, 19 Apr. 2023 Phra Kru Adisal Kijjanuwat, abbot of the Rat Samakee temple, around 3 kilometers (2 miles) from the scene of the bloodshed, said 19 victims will be cremated in a group ceremony on Tuesday, bringing an end to a three-day mourning ceremony for the families. Tassanee Vejpongsa,, 10 Oct. 2022 Later, medieval monks elevated the sacred over the profane; one European abbot wrote his English dictionary in descending order, beginning with angels, the sun and moon, and the Earth and the sea and concluding with weapons, metals and gems, per the Times’ Dan Jones. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Oct. 2020 The government also has sanctioned the Lavra's abbot for alleged pro-Moscow activities. Hanna Arhirova,, 26 Mar. 2023 The abbot of the revered Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra monastery, Mr. Lebid is a senior figure in one of Ukraine’s major Orthodox churches, a branch connected to the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow whose leader has spoken out strongly in favor of President Vladimir V. Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine. Yurii Shyvala, New York Times, 1 Apr. 2023 The abbot himself, Ms. Daston argues, was to serve as a paradigm of the holy life that the Rule commanded the monks to lead. Timothy Farrington, WSJ, 9 Aug. 2022 John Westwyk’s home base at St. Alban’s was particularly notable in this regard, thanks in part to the abbot Richard of Wallingford, whose large list of scientific contributions included the invention of a remarkable mechanical clock in the early 1300’s. Chad Orzel, Forbes, 12 May 2021 Upon his arrival, the abbot commissioned Arabic scholars to translate all the major Islamic texts, including the Qur’an, into Latin. Fred Bahnson, Harper’s Magazine , 20 July 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abbot.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English abbot, abbod, going back to Old English, borrowed from Late Latin abbāt-, abbās, borrowed from Late Greek abbâs (also, a title of respect given to monks), borrowed from Aramaic abbā "father"

First Known Use

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abbot was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near abbot

Cite this Entry

“Abbot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ab·​bot ˈab-ət How to pronounce abbot (audio)
: the head of a monastery for men
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