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