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[kuh n-ven-ti-kuh l]
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  1. a secret or unauthorized meeting, especially for religious worship, as those held by Protestant dissenters in England in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  2. a place of meeting or assembly, especially a Nonconformist meeting house.
  3. Obsolete. a meeting or assembly.

Origin of conventicle

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin conventiculum a small assembly. See convent, -i-, -cle1
Related formscon·ven·ti·cler, nouncon·ven·tic·u·lar [kon-ven-tik-yuh-ler] /ˌkɒn vɛnˈtɪk yə lər/, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for conventicle

Historical Examples

  • The informers were the natural but most accursed products of the Conventicle Acts.


    James Anthony Froude

  • You can't go into a conventicle but you'll hear plenty of talk of backsliding.

  • He was one of the first sufferers by the passing of the Conventicle Act, in 1670.

  • The soldiers were advancing in full view of the conventicle.

  • The throwster's shop-theatre was, in his eyes, a sort of conventicle.

British Dictionary definitions for conventicle


  1. a secret or unauthorized assembly for worship
  2. a small meeting house or chapel for a religious assembly, esp of Nonconformists or Dissenters
Derived Formsconventicler, noun

Word Origin

C14: from Latin conventiculum a meeting, from conventus; see convent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for conventicle


from Latin conventiculum "a small assembly," diminutive of conventus (see convent).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper