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1. A religious meeting, especially a secret or illegal one, such as those held by Dissenters in England and Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries.
2. The place where such a meeting is held.

[Middle English, from Latin conventiculum, meeting, diminutive of conventus, assembly; see convent.]

con·ven′ti·cler n.


1. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a secret or unauthorized assembly for worship
2. (Ecclesiastical Terms) a small meeting house or chapel for a religious assembly, esp of Nonconformists or Dissenters
[C14: from Latin conventiculum a meeting, from conventus; see convent]
conˈventicler n


(kənˈvɛn tɪ kəl)

1. a secret or unauthorized meeting, esp. for religious worship.
2. a place of meeting or assembly, esp. a Nonconformist meeting house.
3. a meeting or assembly.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Latin conventiculum a small assembly. See convent, -i-, -cle1]
con•ven′ti•cler, n.
con•ven•tic•u•lar (ˌkɒn vɛnˈtɪk yə lər) adj.


 a small or private assembly, 1382; a meeting for religious worship, 1649; a clandestine or irregular meeting. See also conciliable.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.conventicle - a secret unauthorized meeting for religious worship
get together, meeting - a small informal social gathering; "there was an informal meeting in my living room"
2.conventicle - a building for religious assembly (especially Nonconformists, e.g., Quakers)conventicle - a building for religious assembly (especially Nonconformists, e.g., Quakers)
house of God, house of prayer, house of worship, place of worship - any building where congregations gather for prayer
References in classic literature ?
He said they had been far too kindly treated and that if he had his way he would make a law that "whoever was found at a conventicle should be banished the nation and the preacher be hanged.
For the first week, whenever I looked out on the pond it impressed me like a tarn high up on the side of a mountain, its bottom far above the surface of other lakes, and, as the sun arose, I saw it throwing off its nightly clothing of mist, and here and there, by degrees, its soft ripples or its smooth reflecting surface was revealed, while the mists, like ghosts, were stealthily withdrawing in every direction into the woods, as at the breaking up of some nocturnal conventicle.
getting out the name of the obnoxious conventicle with some reluctance, and laying a spiteful emphasis upon the words.
And therefore, whensoever it cometh to that pass, that one saith, Ecce in deserto, another saith, Ecce in penetralibus; that is, when some men seek Christ, in the conventicles of heretics, and others, in an outward face of a church, that voice had need continually to sound in men's ears, Nolite exire, - Go not out.
In the son, individualist by temperament, once the science of colleges had replaced thoroughly the faith of conventicles, this moral attitude translated itself into a frenzied puritanism of ambition.
64) On April 29, 1632, an Independent conventicle was discovered in the house of a brewer's clerk in Black-Friars, and of the forty-two adherents arrested, twentyfour were imprisoned.
I slipped about the chalky lane That runs without the park, I saw the lone conventicle A beacon in the dark.
Bunyan began his work while in the Bedfordshire county prison for violations of the Conventicle Act, which prohibited the holding of religious services outside the auspices of the established Church of England.
13) The Clarendon Code consisted of the Corporation Act (1661 repealed 1828), which required all municipal officer holders to be communicant member of the Church of England and to reject the Solemn League and Covenant, The Act of Uniformity (1662) which compelled uniformity of worship through a prescribed Book of Common Prayer for all clergy, The Conventicle Act (1664) which forbad meetings for unauthorised worship, The Five Mile Act (1665 repealed 1812), which forbad nonconforming ministers from coming within five miles of incorporated towns and from teaching in schools.
The Quaker Act of 1662 was a regulation to ensure the Oath of Allegiance to king and country, while the Conventicle Act of 1664 and of 1670 were means to discourage the assemblies of nonconformist sects.
The church, then, is not a theological symposium nor a conventicle of mystics.
Two kings, Charles II (1674) and James II (1685), employed "the dispensing powers of the Crown" to confirm the Jews' religious freedom that was twice tested under the penal laws of the Conventicle Act.