cab·i·net | \ˈkab-nit, ˈka-bə-\

Definition of cabinet 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a case or cupboard usually having doors and shelves a kitchen cabinet a medicine cabinet

b : a collection of specimens especially of biological or numismatic interest a butterfly display cabinet

c : console sense 4a

d : a chamber having temperature and humidity controls and used especially for incubating biological samples

2a archaic : a small room providing seclusion

b : a small exhibition room in a museum

3a 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 the president's cabinet

(2) : a similar advisory council of a governor of a state or a mayor

c British : a meeting of a cabinet

4 New England : milkshake



Definition of cabinet (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of or relating to a governmental cabinet (see cabinet entry 1 sense 3b) held a cabinet meeting

2 : suitable by reason of size for a small room or by reason of attractiveness or perfection for preservation and display in a cabinet porcelain cabinet plates

3a : used or adapted for cabinetmaking

b : done or used by a cabinetmaker

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Examples of cabinet in a Sentence


a member of the President's Cabinet the most precious knickknacks were kept in a cabinet with glass doors

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Since the storm, Nall has seen the people around her rebuild, slowly but surely filing permits, hiring (and firing) contractors, picking out flooring and cabinets and eventually moving back in. Jennifer Bolton, Houston Chronicle, "Video: 83-year-old Pearland woman still living in house gutted from Harvey," 11 July 2018 In that meeting, May had appeared to win over her fractious cabinet and secure approval for her plan, which was to be published as soon as this week in a lengthy White Paper that would stake out Britain's vision for future relations with Europe. William Booth And Karla Adam,, "British PM Theresa May's government thrown into turmoil with surprise resignation of 'Brexit minister'," 9 July 2018 In that meeting, May had appeared to win over her fractious cabinet and secure approval for her plan, which was to be published as soon as this week in a lengthy White Paper that would stake out Britain’s vision for future relations with Europe. Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Boris Johnson and ‘Brexit minister’ resign, leaving Theresa May’s government in disarray," 9 July 2018 The cabinet and administrative structure will be completely revamped, coming under the authority of Erdogan. NBC News, "Turkey sacks thousands through emergency decree as Erdogan cements power," 8 July 2018 State officials confirmed the bizarre incident, telling TV station WTNH the bear burst in through a back door of the Barkhamsted home June 28, walked past the mother and child, then proceeded to dig through the refrigerator, cabinets and pantry. Mark Price, charlotteobserver, "Bold bear chases family and their pets from home, then cleans out their refrigerator," 3 July 2018 Pacella scrambled and squeezed between two file cabinets and a stack of papers, clamping her hand over her mouth to stifle her whimpering. Jean Marbella,, "Capital Gazette shooting: How a quiet day in the newsroom was shattered," 1 July 2018 The changes, approved in an April 2017 referendum, abolish the role of prime minister, authorize the president to appoint the cabinet and issue executive orders, and reduce legislative power. Time, "Turkey's Elections May Be Imperfect But They Still Matter," 22 June 2018 It is modestly demarcated with a slender sign resting on a cabinet and a finger puppet of Sigmund Freud and his couch propped up against it. Issie Lapowsky, WIRED, "The Man Who Saw the Dangers of Cambridge Analytica Years Ago," 19 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cabinet.' 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 cabinet


circa 1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for cabinet


Middle French, small room, diminutive of Middle French dialect (Picard) cabine gambling house


see cabinet entry 1

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Phrases Related to cabinet

file cabinet

filing cabinet

Statistics for cabinet

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for cabinet

The first known use of cabinet was circa 1550

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More Definitions for cabinet



English Language Learners Definition of cabinet

: 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


cab·i·net | \ˈka-bə-nət, ˈkab-nət\

Kids Definition of cabinet

1 : a case or cupboard with shelves or drawers for storing or displaying things a medicine cabinet

2 : a group of people who act as advisers (as to the head of a country) a member of the President's cabinet

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Comments on cabinet

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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