con·clave [kon-kleyv] nounI've been contemplating the meaning of this word.Specifically, does the "with key" signify that the room is locked? By the 1350s certainly the Cardinals were locked in a room with a key to elect a new Pope. But perhaps at least part of the name derives from the fact that the Conclave passes on the Keys that Christ gave to the first Pope, St. Peter, as his mark of office.
1. a private or secret meeting.
2. an assembly or gathering, especially one that has special authority, power, or influence: a conclave of political leaders.
3. the assembly or meeting of the cardinals for the election of a pope.
4. the body of cardinals; the College of Cardinals.
5. the place in which the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church meet in private for the election of a pope.
Origin: 1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin, Latin conclāve room, enclosed space, representing ( camera ) cum clāve (room) with key.