[ kon-kleyv, kong- ]
/ ˈkɒn kleɪv, ˈkɒŋ- /


a private or secret meeting.
an assembly or gathering, especially one that has special authority, power, or influence: a conclave of political leaders.
the assembly or meeting of the cardinals for the election of a pope.
the body of cardinals; the College of Cardinals.
the place in which the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church meet in private for the election of a pope.

Origin of conclave

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin, Latin conclāve room, enclosed space, representing (camera) cum clāve (room) with key. See con-, clef Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for conclave

British Dictionary definitions for conclave

/ (ˈkɒnkleɪv, ˈkɒŋ-) /


a confidential or secret meeting
RC Church
  1. the closed apartments where the college of cardinals elects a new pope
  2. a meeting of the college of cardinals for this purpose

Derived forms of conclave

conclavist, noun

Word Origin for conclave

C14: from Medieval Latin conclāve, from Latin: cage, place that may be locked, from clāvis key
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