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 April, the conversation got serious at a cabinet meeting. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Indonesia Plans to Build a New Capital on Borneo," 27 Aug. 2019 Facing heavy criticism within Brazil, Bolsonaro summoned an emergency cabinet meeting on 22 August. Herton Escobar, Science | AAAS, "There's no doubt that Brazil's fires are caused by deforestation, scientists say," 26 Aug. 2019 Last week, cabinet Secretary David Dickerson declared that 1,074 teachers had broken the law by participating in those sickout protests but would not be fined. Joe Sonka, The Courier-Journal, "Matt Bevin: Kentucky teachers protested during school year to get off work," 20 Aug. 2019 In 2010 the cabinet secretary, Gus O’Donnell, facilitated talks between David Cameron and Nick Clegg. The Economist, "Brexit could cause a crisis that drags in even the queen," 17 Aug. 2019 The last cabinet secretary to win the presidency, in fact, was Herbert Hoover in 1928. Musadiq Bidar, CBS News, "Once a rising star, Julian Castro looks to stand out at Detroit debate," 29 July 2019 Six people with ties to the government were arrested in a federal corruption investigation in July, including a former cabinet secretary and agency head. Adrian Carrasquillo, The New Republic, "Puerto Ricans Are Tired of Being Powerless," 25 July 2019 Meanwhile, about 20 minutes after Mueller’s second hearing wrapped, Governor Rosselló held a cabinet meeting in which he was expected to resign. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Opinion: Will Nancy Pelosi Finally Do Something About Donald Trump’s Abuse Of Power?," 25 July 2019 Only a handful of cabinet secretaries have held their posts since the start of the Trump administration, including Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ, "Labor Secretary Acosta Resigns Amid Pressure Over Epstein Prosecution," 12 July 2019

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

9 Sep 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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Comments on cabinet

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readily or continually undergoing change

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