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abbé

Definition from Dictionary, a free dictionary
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See also abbe, and Abbe

French

Etymology

From Syriac abbā, father, related to Hebrew av, father. See abbot.

Pronunciation

Noun

abbé m. (plural abbés; feminine abbesse, plural abbesses)

  1. abbot, the head of an abbey; but commonly a title of respect given in France to every one vested with the clerical habit or dress.
    Notes: "After the 16th century, the name was given, in social parlance, to candidates for some priory or abbey in the gift of the crown. Many of these aspirants became well known in literary and fashionable life. By further extension, the name came to be applied to unbeneficed secular ecclesiastics generally." - Littré

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