Definition of conventicle in English:

conventicle

noun

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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gnostics read their revelations in private, or discuss them in small conventicles with those who are similarly enlightened.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms

Origin

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).

Pronunciation

conventicle

/kənˈvɛntɪk(ə)l/