- the private meeting of the cardinals to elect a pope
- the cardinals collectively
- any private or secret meeting
- any large conference or convention
Origin of conclaveMiddle English and Old French from L, a room which may be locked from com-, with + clavis, a key: see close
- A secret or confidential meeting.
- Roman Catholic Church a. The private rooms in which the cardinals meet to elect a new pope.b. The meeting held to elect a new pope.
- A meeting of family members or associates.
Origin of conclaveMiddle English private chamber, conclave of cardinals from Latin conclāve lockable room com- com- clāvis key
- The set of apartments within which the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church are continuously secluded while engaged in choosing a pope.
- The group of Roman Catholic cardinals locked in a conclave until they elect a new pope; the body of cardinals
- It was said a cardinal, by reason of his apparent likelihood to step into St. Peter's chair, that in two conclaves he went in pope and came out again cardinal. — Robert South
- A private meeting; a close or secret assembly.
- The verdicts pronounced by this conclave (Johnson's Club) on new books, were speedily known over all London. — Thomas Babington Macaula
French from Latin conclave (“room that may be locked up”), from con- (combining form of cum (“with”) + clāvis (“key”)).