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c.1300, "a gathering of persons, a group gathered for some purpose," from Old French as(s)emblee "assembly, gathering; union, marriage," noun use of fem. past participle of assembler "to assemble" (see assemble). Meaning "gathering together" is recorded from early 15c.; that of "act of assembling parts or objects" is from 1914, as is assembly line. School sense is recorded from 1932.
deliberative council, usually legislative or juridical in purpose and power. The name has been given to various ancient and modern bodies, both political and ecclesiastical. It has been applied to relatively permanent bodies meeting periodically, such as the ancient Greek and Roman assemblies, the Germanic tribal assemblies, the French National Assembly, the legislative houses called assemblies in certain states of the United States, and the UN General Assembly. It has also been applied to groups sitting only for special purposes and for limited periods, such as the Westminster Assembly, which met in 1643 to draft a new constitution for the Church of England.