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The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

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. [1913 Webster] Note: The men are called monks, and governed by an abbot; the women are called nuns, and governed by an abbess. [1913 Webster] 2. The church of a monastery. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] Syn: Monastery; convent; nunnery; priory; cloister. See Cloister. [1913 Webster]