Abbey Ab"bey ([a^]b"b[y^]), n.; pl. Abbeys (-b[i^]z). [OF. aba["i]e, abba["i]e, F. abbaye, L. abbatia, fr. abbas abbot. See Abbot.] 1. A monastery or society of persons of either sex, secluded from the world and devoted to religion and celibacy; also, the monastic building or buildings. Note: The men are called monks, and governed by an abbot; the women are called nuns, and governed by an abbess. 2. The church of a monastery. Note: In London, the Abbey means Westminster Abbey, and in Scotland, the precincts of the Abbey of Holyrood. The name is also retained for a private residence on the site of an abbey; as, Newstead Abbey, the residence of Lord Byron. Syn: Monastery; convent; nunnery; priory; cloister. See Cloister.