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 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 The monks ran away in fear for their lives--all except the abbot, a man who had completely mastered the fear of his own death. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, "Don’t Fear the (Career) Reaper," 4 June 2020 By the time it was sealed off, according to the mayor of Kyiv, 142 priests, including the abbot, and visitors had been infected. Andrew Higgins, New York Times, "A ‘Breakdown of Trust’: Pandemic Corrodes Church-State Ties in Russia," 5 May 2020 Ukraine’s Ministry of Health, however, suspects the outbreak is much larger but cannot confirm due to a lack of cooperation from the abbot. NBC News, "Trump approved of Georgia Gov. Kemp's plan to reopen early before the president bashed it," 24 Apr. 2020 Nine monks at Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas have tested positive for COVID-19 and two remain hospitalized, though both are expected to recover, the abbot of the monastery said Friday. Mike Wilson, Dallas News, "9 monks at Irving monastery test positive for COVID-19, abbot says," 17 Apr. 2020 Peter Verhalen, abbot of Our Lady of Dallas, said in the Facebook post. Hunter Johnson, Dallas News, "2 Cistercian monks, professors at Irving’s University of Dallas, recovering from coronavirus," 14 Apr. 2020 In Thailand, a group of separatist insurgents attacked a Buddhist temple, killing the abbot and one of his fellow monks. Washington Post, "Houses of worship attacked with deadly frequency in 2019," 14 Dec. 2019 Zawana Nyarna, an abbot from Taung Pyone, claims that the monks from his monastery and the six others in the village are innocent. The Economist, "Monks in Myanmar have a new target," 14 Nov. 2019

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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Last Updated

22 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Abbot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for abbot


How to pronounce abbot (audio)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on abbot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for abbot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with abbot

Spanish Central: Translation of abbot

Nglish: Translation of abbot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of abbot for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about abbot

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