In modern English usage (from the 18th century), the term "convent" is almost invariably refer to a community of women, while "priory" and "friary" are used for men; but in historical usage they are often interchangeable.
Technically, a "monastery" or "nunnery" is a community of monastics, whereas a "friary" or "convent" is a community of mendicants, 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.
- See Etym on line
- Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Convent". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.
- Carmelite Monastery of the Sacred Hearts —- an example of a modern-day convent
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Convent". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
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