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


caballed; caballing

Definition of cabal (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to unite in or form a cabal

Synonyms for cabal

Synonyms: Noun

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Choose the Right Synonym for cabal


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?

Cabal has been associated 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) spelled cabal, and they have been collectively dubbed as the "Cabal Cabinet" or "Cabal Ministry." But these five names are not the source of the word cabal, which was in use decades before Charles II ascended the throne. The term traces back to cabbala, the Medieval Latin name for the Kabbalah, a traditional system of esoteric Jewish mysticism. Latin borrowed Cabbala from the Hebrew qabbālāh, meaning "received or traditional lore."

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 QAnon is a far-right political movement born out a belief that a secret of cabal of Democrat pedophiles are taking over the country. al, 28 Apr. 2022 While business interests are still an important part of the anti-borders cabal today, the motivations of the Biden administration are different. Mark Krikorian, National Review, 31 Mar. 2022 Garbin said Fox and Croft were leaders of the cabal. CBS News, 24 Mar. 2022 The lengthy videos offer a stream of QAnon conspiracy theories claiming that former president Donald Trump will save the country from the grip of a child-trafficking cabal and that his return to power is all part of a plan. Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2022 Chansley's nickname referenced the false and elaborate conspiracy theory that Trump has secretly been battling a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles at the highest levels of political power and influence. Greg Hanlon,, 17 Nov. 2021 Some natural consequences followed: Along the way, a sizable portion of the Republican base became convinced that the vaccine was a sinister plot from a cabal of globalists, satanists, and/or other sinister forces. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 20 Apr. 2022 QAnon, that cult-like movement operating under the belief that a secret pedophile cabal runs the world, was losing steam. Maria Konnikova, Wired, 7 Jan. 2022 Some are associated with QAnon, the false theory that former President Donald J. Trump is fighting a cabal of Democratic pedophiles. New York Times, 27 Apr. 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,, 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, 24 May 2018 See More

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.

First Known Use of cabal


1614, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Cabal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of cabal for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about cabal


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