Definition of abbé in English:


See synonyms for abbé on


  • (in France) an abbot or other cleric.

    ‘the abbé was his confessor’
    • ‘Abbé Pierre’
    • ‘In France their leader was the abbé Jules Lemire, who was elected to parliament from a Flemish constituency in 1893.’
    • ‘He attended the Jesuit College in Amiens, studying under the abbé Jacques Delille who was a poet and classicist.’
    • ‘It is possible to detect the influence of Jansenism through the presence of two leading draftsmen of the Civil Constitution, abbés Grégoire and Camus.’
    • ‘Educated by a Jansenist-leaning abbé, Tocqueville did not lose his faith lightly.’
    • ‘In his revolutionary pamphlet of 1788, the abbé Sieyès lamented the great respect granted this parasitic existence.’
    • ‘Chapter two follows with an analysis of the economic resources of ‘Dalmatia’ through the work of the abbé Alberto Fortis.’
    • ‘The sly abbé from Périgord takes Candide to the theatre.’
    • ‘The late abbé Galiani was absolutely right to compare our Council of Finance to Christmas Eve, when everyone eats too much and finishes up with violent indigestion.’
    • ‘Jean Picard, who also was an abbé, held Mouton in high esteem and always visited him when in Lyons.’
    • ‘The French abbé de Saint Pierre went even further, noting that the power of states simply fluctuated too much for such an idea to be feasible.’
    • ‘We also would like to thank l' abbé René Chartier, Soeur Rioux and Soeur Forest for all their support and prayers.’



/aˈbā/ /æˈbeɪ/


Mid 16th century French, from ecclesiastical Latin abbas, abbat- (see abbot).