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The office or period of office of an abbot or abbess:‘the abbacy of Ely was vacant’‘he made several notable improvements during his short abbacy’
- ‘Under the abbacy of St Ailred, it flourished, becoming the largest Cistercian community in England.’
- ‘Nobles occupied all bishoprics and all the choicest abbacies and canonries.’
- ‘The king retained his influence over elections to abbacies and bishoprics, and continued to receive their revenues during vacancies.’
- ‘Some of its clergy married, and abbacies could be held by secular men.’
- ‘During his abbacy, he kept the Buckfast community abreast of changes in the outside world.’
- ‘The distribution and control of offices, such as countships, abbacies, and bishoprics, became the main foci of the political rivalries.’
Late Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin abbacia, from abbas, abbat- (see abbot).
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