cabal

noun
ca·​bal | \ kə-ˈbäl How to pronounce cabal (audio) , -ˈbal How to pronounce cabal (audio) \

Definition of cabal

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the contrived schemes of a group of persons secretly united in a plot (as to overturn a government) also : a group engaged in such schemes
2 : club, group a cabal of artists

cabal

verb
caballed; caballing

Definition of cabal (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to unite in or form a cabal

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Synonyms for cabal

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for cabal

Noun

plot, intrigue, machination, conspiracy, cabal mean a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end. plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme. an assassination plot intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity. backstairs intrigue machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means. the machinations of a party boss conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery. a conspiracy to fix prices cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence. a cabal among powerful senators

Did You Know?

Noun

In A Child's History of England, Charles Dickens associates the word cabal with a group of five ministers in the government of England's King Charles II. The initial letters of the names or titles of those men (Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale) spell cabal, and Dickens dubbed them the "Cabal Ministry." These five men were widely regarded as invidious, secretive plotters and their activities may have encouraged English speakers to associate cabal with high-level government intrigue. But their names are not the source of the word cabal, which was in use decades before Charles II ascended the throne. The term can be traced back through French to cabbala, the Medieval Latin name for the Kabbalah, a traditional system of esoteric Jewish mysticism.

Examples of cabal in a Sentence

Noun a cabal plotting to overthrow the government a conspiracy theory about the existence of an international cabal devoted to world domination
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Many QAnon proponents post-election have worked to reframe the COVID-19 vaccines not as the solution to a global pandemic but as an attempt by a cabal to control the minds of a hapless world. Sophie Bjork-james, Chron, "QAnon hasn't gone away - it's alive and kicking in states across the country," 26 Apr. 2021 Who controls QAnon, the elaborate but baseless conspiracy theory whose followers believe the world is run by an elite cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. Author: Meredith Blake, Anchorage Daily News, "Who is Q? Maker of HBO docuseries ‘Q: Into the Storm’ believes he has the answer," 30 Mar. 2021 And in yet another fabrication, supporters of Mr. Trump said an elite cabal planned to block them from entering polling locations on Election Day. Davey Alba, New York Times, "Riled Up: Misinformation Stokes Calls for Violence on Election Day," 13 Oct. 2020 Elected by a cabal of powerful Venetian families, the doge (at first, anyhow) ruled for life. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "Stocks up, crypto down—Bitcoin’s weekend sell-off rattles the markets," 19 Apr. 2021 Greene also indicated support for executing Democratic members of Congress, harassed a survivor of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and supported the QAnon lie that Democrats are a cabal of pedophiles. Tal Kopan, San Francisco Chronicle, "California Democrats, 11 House Republicans join in ousting Marjorie Taylor Greene from committees," 4 Feb. 2021 Most major QAnon researchers have long speculated that Watkins had written many of the false and cryptic posts alleging that former president Trump was waging war against an elite international cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. Washington Post, "A QAnon revelation suggests the truth of Q’s identity was right there all along," 5 Apr. 2021 Who controls QAnon, the elaborate but baseless conspiracy theory whose followers believe the world is run by an elite cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. Author: Meredith Blake, Anchorage Daily News, "Who is Q? Maker of HBO docuseries ‘Q: Into the Storm’ believes he has the answer," 30 Mar. 2021 Who controls QAnon, the elaborate but baseless conspiracy theory whose followers believe the world is run by an elite cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. Meredith Blake Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Who is Q? Maker of HBO docuseries ‘Q: Into the Storm’ believes he has the answer," 28 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Nothing was more to be desired than that every practicable obstacle should be opposed to cabal, intrigue, and corruption. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "How far back does concern about foreign influence in the US go? All the way back," 14 June 2019 Powell is drawing encouragement from the significant losses of candidates who, like Burton, are backed by the Empower Texans cabal attempting to take control of the Texas Legislature. Richard Greene, star-telegram, "Republicans think they have November in the bag. Do they? | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 24 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cabal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cabal

Noun

1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1678, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for cabal

Noun and Verb

French cabale cabala, intrigue, cabal, from Medieval Latin cabbala cabala, from Late Hebrew qabbālāh, literally, received (lore)

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Last Updated

4 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Cabal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/cabal. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for cabal

cabal

noun

English Language Learners Definition of cabal

formal + disapproving : a small group of people who work together secretly

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More from Merriam-Webster on cabal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for cabal

Nglish: Translation of cabal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about cabal

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