conventicle was our Word of the Day on 04/07/2011. Hear the podcast!
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."
Origin and Etymology of conventicle
Middle English, from Latin conventiculum, diminutive of conventus assembly
First Known Use: 14th century
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