Con"clave(? ?; 277), n. [F., fr. L. conclave a room that may locked up; con- + clavis key. See Clavicle.] 1. The set of apartments within which the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church are continuously secluded while engaged in choosing a pope.
2. The body of cardinals shut up in the conclave for the election of a pope; hence, 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.South.
3. 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.Macaulay.
To be in conclave, to be engaged in a secret meeting; -- said of several, or a considerable number of, persons.
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