Ab·ba (ăbə, äbə)
1. Bible In the New Testament, God.
2. abba Used as a title of honor for bishops and patriarchs in some Christian churches of Egypt, Syria, and Ethiopia.
[Middle English, from Late Latin abbā, from Greek; see ABBOT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2019 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.