NOUN: Inflected forms: pl. jun·tos
A small, usually secret group united for a common interest.
ETYMOLOGY: Alteration of junta.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
As used by Washington Irving to describe the ". . . kind of perpetual club of the sages, philosophers, and other idle personages of the village, which held its sessions on a bench before a small inn . . .:"
The opinions of this junto were completely controlled by Nicholas Vedder, a patriarch of the village and landlord of the inn, at the door of which he took his seat from morning till night, just moving sufficiently to avoid the sun, and keep in the shade of a large tree; so that the neighbors could tell the hour by his movements as accurately as by a sundial.