Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Abbot
ABBOT, the superior of a monastery of monks erected into an abbey or priory. The principal distinction observed between abbots are those of regular and commendatory. The former take the vow and wear the habit of their order: whereas the latter are seculars, who have received tonsure, but are obliged by their bulls to take orders when of proper age. Other distinctions also arose among abbots when abbeys were flourishing in Europe; as, mitered, those privileged to wear the miter and exercise episcopal authority within their respective precincts; crosiered, so named from their carrying the crosier, or pastoral staff; ecumenical, such as exercised universal dominion; and cardinal, from their superiority over all others.