Definition of convent in English:



  • 1A Christian community under monastic vows, especially one of nuns.

    • ‘Give to a convent or monastery that's doing what it's called to do.’
    • ‘As demonstrated at the beginning of this article, their support for convents had allowed female monasticism to flourish in the early-modern period.’
    • ‘Soon the effects of the new teaching were widely felt, with monks and nuns leaving their monasteries and convents.’
    • ‘Women heading monasteries and convents held great local power as they presided over large tracts of land, collected large amounts of taxes in the villages, and could field armies.’
    • ‘Christian monasteries and convents assumed this role in the Middle Ages to discourage the abandonment of children and unwanted infants.’
    • ‘Once she entered the convent, Thérèse wrote poems, plays (in which she also acted), and her famous memoirs.’
    • ‘Under his reforms, only monasteries and convents that were involved in teaching or charity work had a right to exist.’
    • ‘Since convents were novelties in the Anglican Church, the ecclesiastical officials had not yet developed any means to supervise or to incorporate these women within the comprehensiveness of Anglicanism.’
    • ‘She dies soon after, and Sandy, consumed by guilt, enters a convent.’
    • ‘In interviews with the Italian press, she said she would remain single, return to America and enter a convent, hoping to be reunited with him in the afterlife.’
    • ‘Just before the French Revolution, she enters a Carmelite convent to hide from the world.’
    • ‘In ten short years, several historic monasteries and convents have been restored to the Orthodox church and have welcomed hundreds of young novices.’
    • ‘Especially targeted were religious houses, convents and monasteries - because they were the most severe in the demand for forced labor dues.’
    • ‘Why are Germany's convents and monasteries marketing themselves as New Age spiritual retreats for paying customers?’
    • ‘On her pilgrimage to see the pope before entering the convent, she had come across a number of mediocre clerics and thereafter dedicated herself to praying for their improvement.’
    • ‘Now, in this flurry of activity, I was e-mailing convents and monasteries (the new thing in budget travel) like mad.’
    • ‘Kate's daughter, Elise, a gifted pianist, enters the convent at 18.’
    • ‘The whole convent got together for prayer and worship in the sanctuary, ate all their meals together, and participated in community service.’
    • ‘By choice or through compulsion, many - though perhaps fewer than in the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries - embarked on what seemed a surer path to salvation by entering monasteries and convents.’
    • ‘Devout Christians sought austere monasteries and convents for a period of solitude and the chance to be reunited with God.’
    priory, abbey, religious house, religious community, cloister
    coenobium, coenoby, beguinage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A school, especially one for girls, attached to and run by convent.
      • ‘It was her father's fame that took the family first to London and then to Paris, where Lillian found herself miserable and alone in a Catholic convent school.’
      • ‘Instead of sending her to a convent school he decided that she should be taught at home, and she received the sort of education that was more typical for boys.’
      • ‘That's how she ended up at a convent school in Hampshire, before finishing her studies in France.’
      • ‘Shortly after 6pm on a Monday, the only signs of life are students from the convent school waiting for a lift home and some passing cars.’
      • ‘Harris taught for a short while at the convent school she had attended as a young girl and, briefly, at the Catholic Women's Teachers Training College until 1966.’
      • ‘The nuns in the convent school teach her how to read, write, and speak Spanish, and the priests give her and her community political advice to organize and unite in solidarity.’
      • ‘I thought of the convent school in which I was educated from kindergarten to high school.’
      • ‘Robert spent his first six months of schooling at the convent school as it was not so far to walk.’
      • ‘His son had died and after that he had sent his two daughters to a convent school to be educated.’
      • ‘When two orphaned sisters are forced to leave a convent school, their lives take opposite directions.’
      • ‘She reported this to the Archbishop and she also offended him by not inviting him to manage her convent school.’
      • ‘However, Mary Douglas's time in a convent school is not normative for people in our society.’
      • ‘She was educated at a convent school, married a dashing young Indian doctor - a cousin-by-marriage to the Queen Mother - and began a happy union which was to take her halfway round the world.’
      • ‘You were educated in a convent school, you are a feminist, you know post-colonial theory.’
      • ‘Perhaps it was because I hadn't been to a convent school.’
      • ‘So Jim had a little sister who was going to the local convent school.’
      • ‘Judging it ‘too decorous ’, she put on her own production at her convent school.’
      • ‘An impossibly attractive, damp-eyed French girl radiating a soft sense of melancholy shot straight from a convent school into the charts.’
      • ‘She was born a girl in a small French village in the middle of the 19th century, and she was sent to a convent school (she came from a poor background) where she thrived.’
    2. 1.2The building or buildings occupied by a convent.
      • ‘The new application sought permission to convert and refurbish the convent and erect two buildings on the site.’
      • ‘Pioneering work in the diocese at this time was extremely difficult, setting out lands for the building of schools, convents etc.’
      • ‘The building, which was once a convent, was in much disrepair.’
      • ‘This building - a convent in a former life - was plain, but just like the gardens, well cared-for.’
      • ‘The works will entail the conversion and refurbishment of the existing convent and the addition of two buildings.’


Middle English: from Old French, from Latin conventus assembly, company from the verb convenire (see convene). The original spelling was covent (surviving in the place name Covent Garden); the modern form dates from the 16th century.