Definition of convent in English:


See synonyms for convent

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  • 1A Christian community under monastic vows, especially one of nuns.

    ‘Maria entered the convent at the age of eighteen’
    • ‘Christian monasteries and convents assumed this role in the Middle Ages to discourage the abandonment of children and unwanted infants.’
    • ‘In ten short years, several historic monasteries and convents have been restored to the Orthodox church and have welcomed hundreds of young novices.’
    • ‘Soon the effects of the new teaching were widely felt, with monks and nuns leaving their monasteries and convents.’
    • ‘By choice or through compulsion, many - though perhaps fewer than in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries - embarked on what seemed a surer path to salvation by entering monasteries and convents.’
    • ‘Especially targeted were religious houses, convents and monasteries - because they were the most severe in the demand for forced labor dues.’
    • ‘Devout Christians sought austere monasteries and convents for a period of solitude and the chance to be reunited with God.’
    • ‘On her pilgrimage to see the pope before entering the convent, she had come across a number of mediocre clerics and thereafter dedicated herself to praying for their improvement.’
    • ‘In interviews with the Italian press, she said she would remain single, return to America and enter a convent, hoping to be reunited with him in the afterlife.’
    • ‘Once she entered the convent, Thérèse wrote poems, plays (in which she also acted), and her famous memoirs.’
    • ‘Kate's daughter, Elise, a gifted pianist, enters the convent at 18.’
    • ‘She dies soon after, and Sandy, consumed by guilt, enters a convent.’
    • ‘Why are Germany's convents and monasteries marketing themselves as New Age spiritual retreats for paying customers?’
    • ‘Just before the French Revolution, she enters a Carmelite convent to hide from the world.’
    • ‘As demonstrated at the beginning of this article, their support for convents had allowed female monasticism to flourish in the early-modern period.’
    • ‘Women heading monasteries and convents held great local power as they presided over large tracts of land, collected large amounts of taxes in the villages, and could field armies.’
    • ‘The whole convent got together for prayer and worship in the sanctuary, ate all their meals together, and participated in community service.’
    • ‘Now, in this flurry of activity, I was e-mailing convents and monasteries (the new thing in budget travel) like mad.’
    • ‘Give to a convent or monastery that's doing what it's called to do.’
    • ‘Since convents were novelties in the Anglican Church, the ecclesiastical officials had not yet developed any means to supervise or to incorporate these women within the comprehensiveness of Anglicanism.’
    • ‘Under his reforms, only monasteries and convents that were involved in teaching or charity work had a right to exist.’
    1. 1.1A school, especially one for girls, attached to and run by convent.
      ‘I thought of the convent school in which I was educated from kindergarten to high school.’
      • ‘Robert spent his first six months of schooling at the convent school as it was not so far to walk.’
      • ‘She was educated at a convent school, married a dashing young Indian doctor - a cousin-by-marriage to the Queen Mother - and began a happy union which was to take her halfway round the world.’
      • ‘You were educated in a convent school, you are a feminist, you know post-colonial theory.’
      • ‘His son had died and after that he had sent his two daughters to a convent school to be educated.’
      • ‘The nuns in the convent school teach her how to read, write, and speak Spanish, and the priests give her and her community political advice to organize and unite in solidarity.’
      • ‘Shortly after 6pm on a Monday, the only signs of life are students from the convent school waiting for a lift home and some passing cars.’
      • ‘That's how she ended up at a convent school in Hampshire, before finishing her studies in France.’
      • ‘Harris taught for a short while at the convent school she had attended as a young girl and, briefly, at the Catholic Women's Teachers Training College until 1966.’
      • ‘Instead of sending her to a convent school he decided that she should be taught at home, and she received the sort of education that was more typical for boys.’
      • ‘She reported this to the Archbishop and she also offended him by not inviting him to manage her convent school.’
      • ‘Judging it ‘too decorous ’, she put on her own production at her convent school.’
      • ‘She was born a girl in a small French village in the middle of the 19th century, and she was sent to a convent school (she came from a poor background) where she thrived.’
      • ‘It was her father's fame that took the family first to London and then to Paris, where Lillian found herself miserable and alone in a Catholic convent school.’
      • ‘An impossibly attractive, damp-eyed French girl radiating a soft sense of melancholy shot straight from a convent school into the charts.’
      • ‘Perhaps it was because I hadn't been to a convent school.’
      • ‘However, Mary Douglas's time in a convent school is not normative for people in our society.’
      • ‘So Jim had a little sister who was going to the local convent school.’
      • ‘When two orphaned sisters are forced to leave a convent school, their lives take opposite directions.’
    2. 1.2The building or buildings occupied by a convent.
      ‘the long windy path behind the convent’
      • ‘The new application sought permission to convert and refurbish the convent and erect two buildings on the site.’
      • ‘Pioneering work in the diocese at this time was extremely difficult, setting out lands for the building of schools, convents etc.’
      • ‘This building - a convent in a former life - was plain, but just like the gardens, well cared-for.’
      • ‘The building, which was once a convent, was in much disrepair.’
      • ‘The works will entail the conversion and refurbishment of the existing convent and the addition of two buildings.’



/ˈkänˌvent/ /ˈkɑnˌvɛnt/


Middle English from Old French, from Latin conventus ‘assembly, company’, from the verb convenire (see convene). The original spelling was covent (surviving in the place name Covent Garden); the modern form dates from the 16th century.