Convention

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The action of convening

  • 1. The action of coming together, meeting, or assembling. Obs.
  • 2. The action of summoning an assembly.
  • 3. a. The action of summoning before a judge or other person in authority. Obs.
In the University of Cambridge, the ‘convening’ of a student before the college authorities. (Not an official term.)
  • 4. An assembly or gathering of persons for some common object; esp. a formal assembly met for deliberation or legislation on important matters, ecclesiastical, political, or social.
  • 5. spec. a. Eng. Hist. Applied to certain extraordinary assemblies of the Houses of Parliament, without the summons of the Sovereign; viz. that of 1660, which restored Charles II, and that of 1688, which declared the throne abdicated by James II. Hence convention parliament, a parliament constituted of such a convention.
b. In Scotland: convention of estates (Hist.): a meeting of the Estates of the kingdom of Scotland (before the Union), upon any special occasion or emergency, without the formal summons which was required for a regular parliament. convention of royal burghs: a yearly meeting of commissioners from the royal burghs held in Edinburgh.
c. U.S. An assembly of delegates or representatives for some special or occasional purpose.
(a) In a general sense (see 4): applied to several assemblies of historic note, as the Convention of Congregational Ministers of Massachusetts organized early in the 18th c.; the Albany Convention of 1754, the first movement of the colonies towards concerted action; the American Convention of Abolitionists, founded in 1793; the Hartford Convention of 1814, with a view to the possible division of the Union, etc.; joint convention: the meeting in one body of both branches of Congress or of a State legislature.
(b) In Law, A body constituted by statute to represent the people in their primary relations, and in some sense outside of the constitution, as e.g. for the framing or amending of the constitution itself (Constitutional Convention). In this sense, applied to the body of delegates from the several states which framed the federal constitution in 1787; also, to a body meeting under authority of Congress to frame a constitution for a new state, or convened by a state legislature, in the manner prescribed by law, to revise the constitution of the state.
(c) In party politics, a meeting of delegates of a political party (National Convention of the Republican or the Democratic Party) to nominate candidates for the presidency of the U.S., or for state or local offices. (d) The title of the triennial assembly (General Convention) of the American Episcopal Church (corresponding in some respects to Convocation in England), and of the annual diocesan assemblies (Diocesan Conventions) of the same.
d. National Convention: (a) the sovereign assembly which governed France from Sept. 21, 1792, to Oct. 26, 1795; (b) the name of an assembly of the English Chartists in 1833.
  • 6. fig. Of things: Assemblage, gathering, union. Obs.

Agreement, conventional usage

  • 7. a. An agreement or covenant between parties.
b. An agreement creating legal relations.
c. = CONVENTIONARY tenure.
  • 8. spec. a. In Diplomacy: An agreement between sovereigns or states: formerly = TREATY; now applied to an agreement of less formality or importance than a treaty.

Such are international arrangements about postage, telegraphs, or literary rights; monetary conventions for an international coinage; the Geneva Conventions of 1864 and 1865, providing for the neutralization of ambulances and hospitals, and for the protection of civilians rendering help to the sick and wounded, etc.

b. Mil. An agreement made between the commanders of opposing armies for the evacuation of some post or country, the suspension of hostilities, or the exchange of prisoners.
  • 9. a. General agreement or consent, deliberate or implicit, as constituting the origin and foundation of any custom, institution, opinion, etc., or as embodied in any accepted usage, standard of behavior, method of artistic treatment, or the like.
b. In a bad sense: Accepted usage become artificial and formal, and felt to be repressive of the natural in conduct or art; conventionalism.
  • 10. a. A rule or practice based upon general consent, or accepted and upheld by society at large; an arbitrary rule or practice recognised as valid in any particular art or study; a conventionalism.
b. Cards. A method of play or bidding which does not have its natural meaning but is used solely to convey prearranged information.
  • 11. attrib. and Comb., as convention hall; convention city N. Amer., a city in which conventions are commonly held. convention-coin, -dollar, coins struck according to monetary conventions between different German states; convention parliament (see 5a). Hence conventio{sm}neer, a member of a convention, one present at a convention (see also quot. 1934). N. Amer.