< /æˈbeɪz, ˈæb eɪz; French aˈbeɪ/. (esp. in France)

  1. a member of the secular clergy.
  2. a title of respect for any ecclesiastic or clergyman.


  1. Ernst. 1840–1905, German physicist, noted for his work in optics and the microscope condenser known as the Abbe condenser


  1. a French abbot
  2. a title used in addressing any other French cleric, such as a priest

1520s, title given in France to “every one who wears an ecclesiastical dress,” especially one having no assigned ecclesiastical duty, from French abbé, from Late Latin abbatem, accusative of abbas (see abbot).

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