con·​ven·​ti·​cle | \ kən-ˈven-ti-kəl How to pronounce conventicle (audio) \

Definition of conventicle

2 : an assembly of an irregular or unlawful character
3 : an assembly for religious worship especially : a secret meeting for worship not sanctioned by law

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Other Words from conventicle

conventicler \ kən-​ˈven-​ti-​k(ə-​)lər How to pronounce conventicle (audio) \ noun

Did You Know?

Conventicle comes to us from Latin conventiculum and ultimately from convenire, meaning "to assemble." Conventiculum means "place of assembly" (it was applied in particular to Roman Christian meetinghouses) or simply "assembly." The English "conventicle" also originally meant "assembly." It then developed an application to illegal meetings, which, in turn, led to the arrival of a sense describing secret meetings for worship in a religion proscribed by law. And finally, "conventicle" developed a sense of "meetinghouse," echoing the earlier use of "conventiculum."

First Known Use of conventicle

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for conventicle

Middle English, from Latin conventiculum, diminutive of conventus assembly

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The first known use of conventicle was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Conventicle.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Apr. 2021.

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