1

Some Romance lan­guages' own cog­nates for our Latin-de­rived word convene and convenient can be verbed, like verb phrase to be convenient is used in cur­rent English:

  • Não me convém. (Portuguese)
  • No me conviene. (Spanish)
  • Ceci ne me convient pas. (French)

Those all trans­late lit­er­ally “This does not convene to me", to mean “This is not convenient to me”.

Has English ever similarly used same sense of the same verb? Has it ever been com­mon to say

It does not convene to me?

2

Yes. OED has a number of entries showing obsolete usage. It may be that these are too localised to be "commonly used", or perhaps "some parts of New England" is sufficiently common to qualify:

8. U.S. dialect. To be convenient to; to suit, fit.

1816 J. Pɪᴄᴋᴇʀɪɴɢ Vocab. U.S. Convene..is used in some parts of New England in a very strange sense..‘This road will convene the public,’ i.e. will be convenient for the public. The word, however, is used only by the illiterate.

There are other usages grouped with that under "II. To agree, harmonize":

5. intransitive. Of persons: To come to agreement in purpose, opinion, or action; to agree. Obsolete.
6. To agree or accord in size, quality, or character; to be suitable or fitting. convening to: conformable to, according to. Scottish. Obsolete.
7. transitive. To bring into agreement; to harmonize, settle. Obsolete.

It also has a ninth which is not marked obsolete, although the citation was only forty years old when the definition was included and it may well be obsolete now:

9. intransitive. To come together in harmony; to harmonize, fit each other.

1854 W. M. Tʜᴀᴄᴋᴇʀᴀʏ Newcomes I. xxxi. 305 There are articles which the marriage-monger cannot make to convene at all: tempers..tastes..etc.

| improve this answer | |
  • The examples are interesting but the 9th meaning is not only unusual (and probably obsolete even if it was ever common outside Thackeray's work) but is also only a slight variant on the normal meaning of 'convene'. There isn't much difference between the work of a matchmaker and that of (say) an arbitrator bringing together bitter disputants. – BoldBen Mar 8 at 5:40
  • @BoldBen The convene in (9) is not bringing people together, but matching attributes of people. – Andrew Leach Mar 8 at 10:21
0

No, the sense in English has always been to bring together a group of people for a meeting, or to meet for a meeting:

To convene:

early 15c., (intransitive) "to come together, meet in the same place," usually for some public purpose, from Old French convenir "to come together; to suit, agree," from Latin convenire "to come together, meet together, assemble; unite, join, combine; agree with, accord; be suitable or proper (to),".

Transitive sense of "call together, cause to assemble" is from 1590s.

(Etymonline)

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.