Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A clique or circle, especially of writers.
  • n. A small dining room, usually on an upper floor.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a dining room, especially one on an upper floor (traditionally the room in which the Last Supper took place)
  • n. a small circle or gathering of specialists (writers etc); a clique

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dining-room; specifically, the room in which the Last Supper was eaten.

Etymologies

French cénacle, from Old French cenacle, the room where the Last Supper took place, from Latin cēnāculum, dining room, garret, from cēna, meal; see sker-1 in Indo-European roots. Sense 2 Middle English, from Old French, from Latin cēnāculum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • And today, St. Peter's Square is like a "cenacle" open to heaven, filled with the faithful, many of whom are members of Italian Catholic Action, whom I will address after the Marian prayer of the Regina Caeli.

    Archive 2008-05-04

  • When only eighteen he was introduced into the Romantic 'cenacle' at Nodier's.

    The Confession of a Child of the Century — Complete

  • Several days before their wedding, Gianna wrote to Pietro, reflecting on their vocation to marriage: With God's help and blessing, we will do all we can to make our new family a little cenacle where Jesus will reign over all our affections, desires and actions ....

    Saints

  • Standing in this hallowed place, alongside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which marks the site where our crucified Lord rose from the dead for all humanity, and near the cenacle, where on the day of Pentecost "they were all together in one place" Acts 2:1, who could not feel impelled to bring the fullness of goodwill, sound scholarship and spiritual desire to our ecumenical endeavors?

    Archive 2009-05-01

  • The insistence on the chronological date of the two appearances shows the Evangelist John's intention to present Jesus' meeting with his followers in the cenacle as a prototype of the Church's Sunday assembly.

    Archive 2008-03-30

  • After the Ascension the first disciples remain together in the cenacle around the Mother of Jesus in fervent expectation of the gift of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus cf.

    Archive 2008-05-04

  • This community found itself gathered together again in the same place, the cenacle, on the morning of the Jewish feast of Pentecost, a feast of the covenant, in which there was commemorated the event on Sinai where, through Moses, God proposed that Israel be his property among all the nations, to be a sign of his holiness cf.

    Archive 2008-05-11

  • It is a description that is rich in details: The place "where they lived" -- the cenacle -- is an environment "in the upper room"; the 11 apostles are listed by name, and the first three are Peter, John and James, the "pillars" of the community, already integrated into this new family, no longer based on family bonds but on faith in Christ.

    Archive 2008-05-11

  • If a stranger is admitted to the/cenacle/, every member of it in turn will say (not without a trace of irony), “You will not find the brilliancy of your Parisian society here,” and proceed forthwith to criticise the life led by his neighbors, as if he himself were an exception who had striven, and vainly striven, to enlighten the rest.

    The Deserted Woman

  • He should meet with fellow-feeling, and something of the kindly and grateful affection which he found in the cenacle of the

    A Distinguished Provincial at Paris

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  • "Living words of experience, officialdom laid bare, toothless mouths accustomed to chewing furtive speech in rage at a ghetto of words with its rules and laws, at the foundation of a cenacle in need of a Judas."
    Talismano by Abdelwahab Meddeb, translated by Jane Kuntz, p 75 of the Dalkey Archive Press paperback


    September 23, 2011

  •      —where sparrows splash
    a generation of fine mercers trained to be
    the only hosts a prim cénacle knew—
    —Peter Porter, 'Dragons in their Pleasant Palaces', in the volume of the same name

    This would have looked more familiar in the English spelling without the accent, but the use of the French form is unexpected.

    March 29, 2009

  • A clique or coterie, especially of writers.

    June 28, 2008

  • Room where the Last Supper was eaten. (from Phrontistery)

    May 25, 2008