"an action of coming together," Old English meting "assembly," verbal noun from meet (v.). Specific meaning "gathering of people for discussion, etc." is from 1510s. In 17c., in England and Ireland it was applied generally to worship assemblies of nonconformists, but this now is retained mostly by Quakers. In the early U.S., especially in rural districts, it was applied to any assemblage for religious worship.
updated on December 15, 2018