noun \ˈkab-nit, ˈka-bə-\

: a piece of furniture that is used for storing things and usually has doors and shelves

: a group of people who give advice to the leader of a government

Full Definition of CABINET

a :  a case or cupboard usually having doors and shelves
b :  a collection of specimens especially of biological or numismatic interest
c :  console 4a
d :  a chamber having temperature and humidity controls and used especially for incubating biological samples
a archaic :  a small room providing seclusion
b :  a small exhibition room in a museum
a archaic (1) :  the private room serving as council chamber of the chief councillors or ministers of a sovereign (2) :  the consultations and actions of these councillors
b (1) often capitalized :  a body of advisers of a head of state
(2) :  a similar advisory council of a governor of a state or a mayor
c British :  a meeting of a cabinet
New England :  milk shake

Examples of CABINET

  1. a member of the President's Cabinet
  2. <the most precious knickknacks were kept in a cabinet with glass doors>

Origin of CABINET

Middle French, small room, diminutive of Middle French dialect (Picard) cabine gambling house
First Known Use: circa 1550

Other Furniture and Woodworking Terms

appoint, credenza, mission, settee



Definition of CABINET

:  of or relating to a governmental cabinet
:  suitable by reason of size for a small room or by reason of attractiveness or perfection for preservation and display in a cabinet
a :  used or adapted for cabinetmaking
b :  done or used by a cabinetmaker

First Known Use of CABINET


Other Government and Politics Terms

agent provocateur, agitprop, autarky, cabal, egalitarianism, federalism, hegemony, plenipotentiary, popular sovereignty, socialism


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Body of senior ministers or, in the U.S., advisers to a chief executive, whose members also serve as the heads of government departments. The cabinet has become an integral part of parliamentary government in many countries, though its form varies. It developed from the British Privy Council, when King Charles II and Queen Anne regularly consulted the council's leading members to reach decisions before meeting with the unwieldy full council. The modern British cabinet consists of departmental ministers, drawn from the members of Parliament and appointed by the prime minister. In the U.S., the cabinet serves as an advisory group to the president without the sanction of law. Members' appointments are subject to Senate approval, and the U.S. Constitution sets cabinet members' order of succession to the presidency. The cabinet includes the secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Education, Energy, and Veterans Affairs and the attorney general.


Next Word in the Dictionary: cabinet ball
Previous Word in the Dictionary: cabineer
All Words Near: cabinet

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up cabinet? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).