A convent is either a community of priests, religious brothers, religious sisters, or nuns, or the building used by the community, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion. In modern English usage, "convent" or "nunnery" almost invariably refers to a community of women, while "monastery", "priory" or "friary" is used for men; but in historical usage they are often interchangeable.
Technically, a "monastery" or "nunnery" is a community of monastics, whereas a "convent" is a community of mendicants ("friary" specifying a male community specifically), and a "canonry" a community of canons regular. The terms "abbey" and "priory" can be applied to both monasteries and canonries and distinguish those headed by an Abbot from the lesser dependent houses headed by a Prior.
Famous quotes containing the word convent:
“Come, all sad and solemn shows,
That are quick-eyed Pleasures foes!
We convent nought else but woes,
We convent nought else but woes.”
—John Fletcher (15791625)
“...as for helping me in the outside world, the Convent taught me only that if you spit on a pencil eraser, it will erase ink.”
—Dorothy Parker (18931967)
“The nightingales are singing near
The Convent of the Sacred Heart,
And sang within the bloody wood
When Agamemnon cried aloud,
And let their liquid siftings fall
To stain the stiff dishonored shroud.”
—T.S. (Thomas Stearns)