To be in conclave
Conclave Con"clave (? or ?; 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. [1913 Webster]

2. The body of cardinals shut up in the conclave for the election of a pope; hence, the body of cardinals. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

3. A private meeting; a close or secret assembly. [1913 Webster]

The verdicts pronounced by this conclave (Johnson's Club) on new books, were speedily known over all London. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

{To be in conclave}, to be engaged in a secret meeting; -- said of several, or a considerable number of, persons. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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