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[kon-vent, -vuh nt] /ˈkɒn vɛnt, -vənt/
a community of persons devoted to religious life under a superior.
a society or association of monks, friars, or nuns: now usually used of a society of nuns.
the building or buildings occupied by such a society; a monastery or nunnery.
Obsolete. assembly; meeting.
Origin of convent
1175-1225; < Medieval Latin conventus; Latin: assembly, coming together, equivalent to conven(īre) (see convene) + -tus suffix of v. action; replacing Middle English covent < Anglo-French < Medieval Latin, as above
1. abbey, priory. 3. cloister. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for convent
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Lady Abbess was a pious woman, the head of a convent of holy nuns.

    Japanese Fairy Tales Grace James
  • "Grandma Loekermann did it at the convent, ages ago," she told him.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • Fear of her fathers threat to send her away to a convent school if she did not show rapid signs of improvement made her pause.

  • The last scene of the second act is in the gardens of the convent of Virgins of the Sun.

    Apu Ollantay Anonymous
  • I labor for a sacred cause, and until that is accomplished, I shall enter no convent—it is to pay my father's debts.

    A Changed Heart May Agnes Fleming
British Dictionary definitions for convent


a building inhabited by a religious community, usually of nuns
the religious community inhabiting such a building
Also called convent school. a school in which the teachers are nuns
Word Origin
C13: from Old French covent, from Latin conventus meeting, from convenīre to come together; see convene
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for convent

c.1200, covent, cuvent, from Anglo-French covent, from Old French convent, from Latin conventus "assembly," used in Medieval Latin for "religious house," originally past participle of convenire "come together" (see convene). Not exclusively feminine until 18c. The form with restored Latin -n- emerged early 15c. The Middle English form remains in London's Covent Garden district (notorious late 18c. for brothels), so called because it had been the garden of a defunct monastery.

COVENT GARDEN AGUE. The venereal diſeaſe.
["Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," 1796]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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convent in Culture

convent definition

A community of people in a religious order, especially nuns.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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