What Does Conclave Mean?


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Aun Jafery answered
The word Conclave can be traced back to the Middle English and from there to the Latin word "conclave" meaning a "lockable room". It has now come to take the meaning of a confidential, private, exclusive or secret meeting.

It is thus appropriate that the word in Latin meant an apartment or room that could be locked. It is an amalgamation of "com" meaning with, together or jointly and "clavis" meaning key in Latin. Before the middle seventeen hundreds it was reserved solely to refer to a private closet or chamber.

In church usage it refers to a place where the cardinals gather when electing a new pope. In a more business or general sense it refers to family members or associates meeting in an exclusive environment. Thus a meeting of mob bosses would definitely be a conclave as they are both "family" (so to speak) and "associates" (so to speak).

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