Conventicle (place of meeting, Lat, conventiculum, diminutive of conventus). The word conventiculum was known to the primitive Church to designate a house of prayer, conventicula ubi summus oratur Deus (Arnob. 4; see also Lactant. v. 11; Orosius, 7:12). in after times it denoted a cabal among the monks of a convent, to secure the election of some favorite candidate for abbot or superior. The term conventicle is said to have been first applied in England to the assemblies of Wickliffe's followers; but in the reign of Charles II it was given contemptuously to the meetings for religious worship of Protestant dissenters from the Church of England, which were not at the time sanctioned by law.