1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Convent

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CONVENT (Lat. conventus, from convenire, to come together), a term applied to an association of persons secluded from the world and devoted to a religious life, and hence to the building in which they live, a monastery or (more particularly) nunnery. The diminution “conventicle” (conventiculum) , generally used in a contemptuous sense as implying sectarianism, secrecy or illegality, is applied to the meetings or meeting-places of religious or other dissenting bodies.