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

But with the budget deficit growing, Mr. Trump said before a cabinet meeting in October that agencies should trim their 2020 budgets by 5%. Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "Trump, After Boosting U.S. Military Budget, Says It Is Too High," 3 Dec. 2018 America loves celebrities, and wouldn’t Andy Cohen make a better cabinet member than Betsy DeVos? Mattie Kahn, Glamour, "Bethenny Frankel Doesn't Need to Be Thanked. But She Wouldn't Mind a Little Gratitude From President Trump.," 14 Sep. 2018 The medicine cabinet’s mirror reflects the second part of the exhibit: 17,000 clay pieces resembling pills, scattered on the floor of the Alvarez gallery. Susan Dunne,, "Gallery Owner Says Opioid Exhibit, Protest At Purdue Just The Beginning Of 'Spoon Movement'," 26 June 2018 CNBC Brexit Summit With mere months of Brexit negotiations with the EU left on the schedule, British Prime Minister Theresa May is gathering her cabinet today for negotiations over their own stance. Alan Murray, Fortune, "Happy Trade War, Pruitt Pruned, Cohen Blocked: CEO Daily for July 6, 2018," 6 July 2018 Moreover, López Obrador is emerging as much more pragmatic, reaching out to prominent businesspeople to join his cabinet and politicians to come into his camp. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, "Mexico's man of the people – with an ego," 29 June 2018 McGrath was able to transform her cluttered medicine cabinet into an organized paradise using only ceramic block magnets, floral fabric and Mod Podge. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Magnets Are the Organizing Hack Your Medicine Cabinets Have Been Waiting For," 19 June 2018 Brexit Divides London’s Financial Factions Her cabinet also met Monday to strategize on how to sell the deal to the people and British members of Parliament. Max Colchester, WSJ, "May Looks to Public to Back Brexit Deal," 26 Nov. 2018 By stocking up your medicine cabinet and asking the pros, of course. Ella Cerón, Teen Vogue, "How to Fight Acne and Dry Skin in Winter," 13 Nov. 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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Statistics for cabinet

Last Updated

16 Dec 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).


to make faulty or ineffective

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