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[ab-uh t] /ˈæb ət/
a man who is the head or superior, usually elected, of a monastery.
before 900; Middle English, variant of abbat < Latin abbāt- (stem of abbās) < Greek < Aramaic abbā abba; replacing Middle English, Old English abbod (compare Old High German abbat) < Late Latin abbād- for abbāt-
Related forms
abbotcy, abbotship, noun
subabbot, noun


[ab-uh t] /ˈæb ət/
Charles Greeley, 1872–1973, U.S. astrophysicist.
Also, Ab·bott. a male given name. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for abbot
  • Newton abbot has a racecourse and boasts three country parks decoy, stover and bradley.
  • Newton abbot railway station is situated at the east end of queen street.
  • There was a monastery, the head of which was an abbot, by name, baldwin.
British Dictionary definitions for abbot


the superior of an abbey of monks related adjective abbatial
Derived Forms
abbotship, abbotcy, noun
Word Origin
Old English abbod, from Church Latin abbāt- (stem of abbas), ultimately from Aramaic abbāAbba
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for abbot

Old English abbod "abbot," from Latin abbatem (nominative abbas), from Greek abbas, from Aramaic abba, title of honor, literally "the father, my father," emphatic state of abh "father." The Latin fem. abbatissa is root of abbess.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for abbot


the superior of a monastic community that follows the Benedictine Rule (Benedictines, Cistercians, Camaldolese, Trappists) and of certain other orders (Premonstratensians, canons regular of the Lateran). The word derives from the Aramaic ab ("father"), or aba ("my father"), which in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Old Testament) and in New Testament Greek was written abbas. Early Christian Egyptian monks renowned for age and sanctity were called abbas by their disciples, but, when monasticism became more organized, superiors were called proestos ("he who rules") in the East and the Latin equivalent, praepositus, in the West.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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