St. Dominic of Silos enthroned as abbot (Hispano-Flemish Gothic 15th century)

Abbot, meaning father, is an ecclesiastical title given to the male head of a monastery in various traditions, including Christianity. The office may also be given as an honorary title to a clergyman who is not the head of a monastery. The female equivalent is abbess.


The title had its origin in the monasteries of Egypt and Syria, spread through the eastern Mediterranean, and soon became accepted generally in all languages as the designation of the head of a monastery. The word is derived from the Aramaic av meaning "father" or abba, meaning "my father". In the Septuagint, it was written as "abbas".[1] At first it was employed as a respectful title for any monk, but it was soon restricted by canon law to certain priestly superiors. At times it was applied to various priests, e.g. at the court of the Frankish monarchy the Abbas palatinus ("of the palace"') and Abbas castrensis ("of the camp") were chaplains to the Merovingian and Carolingian sovereigns’ court and army respectively. The title abbot came into fairly general use in western monastic orders whose members include priests.[2]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Ab
Alemannisch: Abt
Ænglisc: Abbod
العربية: أب (مسيحية)
asturianu: Abá
azərbaycanca: Abbat
беларуская: Абат
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Абат
български: Абат
brezhoneg: Abad
català: Abat
čeština: Opat
corsu: Abbate
Cymraeg: Abad
dansk: Abbed
Deutsch: Abt
eesti: Abt
Ελληνικά: Αββάς
español: Abad
Esperanto: Abato
estremeñu: Abad
euskara: Abade
فارسی: راهب بزرگ
français: Abbé
Frysk: Abt
Gaeilge: Ab
galego: Abade
한국어: 아빠스
հայերեն: Աբբա
hrvatski: Abba (otac)
Ido: Abado
Bahasa Indonesia: Abbas
interlingua: Abba
íslenska: Ábóti
italiano: Abate
עברית: אב מנזר
ქართული: აბატი
қазақша: Аббат
Kiswahili: Abati
Кыргызча: Аббат
Latina: Abbas
latviešu: Abats
Lëtzebuergesch: Abt
lietuvių: Abatas
Limburgs: Abt
magyar: Apát
Nederlands: Abt (abdij)
日本語: 修道院長
Napulitano: Abbate
norsk: Abbed
norsk nynorsk: Abbed
Nouormand: Abbaé
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Abbat
Plattdüütsch: Abt
polski: Opat
português: Abade
română: Abate
русиньскый: Опат
русский: Аббат
shqip: Abati
sicilianu: Abbati
slovenčina: Opát
slovenščina: Opat
српски / srpski: Ава
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Abba (otac)
suomi: Apotti
svenska: Abbot
Tagalog: Abad
тоҷикӣ: Аббат
українська: Абат
vepsän kel’: Abbat
Tiếng Việt: Viện phụ
中文: 修道院长