cab·​i·​net | \ ˈkab-nit How to pronounce cabinet (audio) , 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
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

In the same way Joe locked up Beck's f*ck-buddy Benji (rest in peace) earlier in the season, Joe traps Beck in the glass cabinet with the rare books, under lock and key. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Is Beck Really Dead on You—Or Could Joe's Ex Be Back for Season 2?," 27 Jan. 2019 This means that most people are either planning (or procrastinating) their costumes, candy corn is suddenly a staple in the snack cabinet, and for the beauty obsessed, Halloween hair and makeup tutorials are on non-stop in the background. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Hot Topic Just Launched a Beetlejuice Eye Shadow Palette, and It Already Sold Out," 2 Oct. 2018 Taking on a new significance after the beloved storyteller's untimely passing, the family will keep Bourdain's gift alongside other keepsakes in the family's china cabinet. Southern Living, "West Virginia Couple from 'Parts Unknown' Receives Gift from Anthony Bourdain a Day Before His Death," 12 June 2018 Opening up a cabinet with 30 or 40 coffee cups, Datchuk begins telling the story behind a few. Steve Bennett, San Antonio Express-News, "1917 Sears bungalow in Beacon Hill home to artist couple, Chairman Maos," 11 June 2018 Every intersection in the county with a traffic light has a traffic signal controller cabinet. Tim Woodward, idahostatesman, "In thankless job, one man at ACHD wages war on gridlock in ever-growing Ada County," 10 June 2018 The app offers tips for painting, woodworking, caulking and even trickier tasks like installing cabinets and countertops. Ronda Kaysen, The Seattle Times, "Is it time to drain the water heater? There’s an app for that," 11 Feb. 2019 In a basement under its Times Square offices, stuffed into cabinets and drawers, the Times stores between 5 million and 7 million images, along with information about when they were published and why. James Vincent, The Verge, "Google is using AI to help The New York Times digitize 5 million historic photos," 9 Nov. 2018 But because machines, unlike workers, trim walls and floors to exact lengths, cabinets and other fixtures can be crafted before the house frame is done, slicing building time by a month in total, CEO Gerard McCaughey estimates. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "With construction workers scarce, homebuilders turn to robots, software," 25 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

Noun and Adjective

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

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Statistics for cabinet

Last Updated

11 Mar 2019

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 How to pronounce cabinet (audio) , 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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