Also found in: Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


 a small or private assembly, 1382; a meeting for religious worship, 1649; a clandestine or irregular meeting. See also conciliable.
Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
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.
'She's at--at Little Bethel, I suppose?'--getting out the name of the obnoxious conventicle with some reluctance, and laying a spiteful emphasis upon the words.
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. The very dew seemed to hang upon the trees later into the day than usual, as on the sides of mountains.
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.
While it was working its way through the House of Lords, receiving compassionate amendments as it went, the Conventicle Bill nearly produced a constitutional crisis.
It was the date in September 1670 that a jury refused to convict the Quaker, William Penn, of violating England's Conventicle Acts.
(19) In other works, Dryden aligned poetry and priesthood in a negative capacity; speaking of the Conventicle Act of 1664, Crites asserts that "ill Poets should be as well silenc'd as seditious Preachers," and in The Second Part of Absalom and Achitophel "Priests without Grace, and Poets without Wit" are accused of fomenting rebellion for personal gain.
The specialist knows no obligation to a wider structure of things, but merely to the guild-like rules and disciplines of his own conventicle. And something like this has also happened in the past few decades to architecture, whose forms are less likely to refer to the society in which they sit but to architecture itself--its processes, preoccupations, identity.
Messrs Stiggins and Chadband, aided by the politicians of the conventicle and of the ultra radical school ...
His religious conventicle may have been able to absorb older women into its structure, as celibates under a strict religious discipline, who were allowed to depend on the community for their welfare.
This year is the 325th anniversary of the day when the jurors in the trial of William Penn refused to convict him of violating England's Conventicle Act (which declared as seditious any religious meeting outside the sanction of the Church of England) despite clear evidence that he had openly preached a Quaker sermon.