ab·​bot | \ ˈa-bət How to pronounce abbot (audio) \

Definition of abbot

: the superior of a monastery for men

Examples of abbot in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Residents of the area don’t hunt bats anymore since the abbot has warned them against it, Ms. Prangthip said. New York Times, "Thai Caves Attract Millions of Bats — and Now Scientists Too," 17 Jan. 2021 The monastery’s longtime guard had set it on fire, even though the abbot had asked him not to. Anton Troianovski, New York Times, "Layers of Tragedy, in a Cemetery and in the Mountains," 18 Nov. 2020 Phap Dung, who was born in Vietnam and graduated from the University of Southern California, spent nine years as Deer Park’s abbot, from 2001 to 2010. San Diego Union-Tribune, "As Deer Park Monastery turns 20, its mission hasn’t changed: spread the gospel of mindfulness," 8 Nov. 2020 Visitors hoping to meet John themselves can stop by the cathedral’s new exhibition on him and follow a trail designed to allows guests to walk in the abbot’s footsteps. Dianne Lugo, Smithsonian Magazine, "Facial Reconstruction Reveals Medieval Monk’s ‘Impish’ Features," 9 Sep. 2020 The route rambles along roads and countryside from Hollywood to the ruins of the monastery that St. Kevin, a sixth-century abbot, had founded in Glendalough. Kathryn Barush, The Conversation, "As coronavirus curtails travel, backyard pilgrimages become the way to a spiritual journey," 10 Aug. 2020 In the 12th century, the Cistercian abbot Bernard of Clairvaux railed against heretics doing ‘heinous and obscene’ things in private, comparing them to the stinking behinds of foxes. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "The Function and Language of Ancient Sexual Texts," 4 May 2020 At Wat Tha Luang in Phichit Province, northern Thailand, the abbot has made efforts to feed one meal per day per person during the quarantine period. Brooke Schedneck, The Conversation, "Buddhist monks have reversed roles in Thailand – now they are the ones donating goods to others," 5 Aug. 2020 Along with a place in the book and the ear of the local abbot, club bonuses included a parade through the town to induct the new member and a large celebratory dinner. The Economist, "Craft from the past Leaf through the newly digitised “St Albans Benefactors’ Book”," 8 June 2020

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

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First Known Use of abbot

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abbot

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"

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Time Traveler for abbot

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Abbot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for abbot



English Language Learners Definition of abbot

: a man who is the head of a monastery


ab·​bot | \ ˈa-bət How to pronounce abbot (audio) \

Kids Definition of abbot

: the head of an abbey for men

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