Definition of conventicle in English:



  • A secret or unlawful religious meeting, typically of nonconformists.

    • ‘The Orthodox among us were at least as imaginative as any of the rest, though, of course, always insisting upon strict obedience to Jewish law in our conventicles and retreats.’
    • ‘Gnostics read their revelations in private, or discuss them in small conventicles with those who are similarly enlightened.’
    • ‘Gerhard, a quiet dreamy boy, found himself attracted to the conventicles, but although he heard numerous gospel sermons, his mind remained confused and his heart untouched.’
    • ‘Despite the attempts to prevent unlawful conventicles, the Baptists, Quakers, and other radicals were not to be uprooted.’
    • ‘If it was a sin to preach at conventicles, he said, ‘I should sin still.’’
    assembly, meeting, meet, convention, rally, turnout, congress, convocation, conclave, council, synod, symposium, forum, muster, tweetup
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Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘assembly, meeting’, particularly a clandestine or illegal one): from Latin conventiculum (place of) assembly, diminutive of conventus assembly, company, from the verb convenire (see convene).