kab·​ba·​lah kə-ˈbä-lə How to pronounce kabbalah (audio) ˈka-bə-lə How to pronounce kabbalah (audio)
variants or less commonly kabbala or kabala or cabala or cabbala or cabbalah
often capitalized
: a medieval and modern system of Jewish theosophy, mysticism, and thaumaturgy marked by belief in creation through emanation and a cipher method of interpreting Scripture
: a traditional, esoteric, occult, or secret matter
: esoteric doctrine or mysterious art
kabbalism noun
kabbalistic adjective

Examples of kabbalah in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In code, artists were able to include references to alchemy, astrology, and even kabbalah, a mystical branch of Judaism. National Geographic, 16 Jan. 2020 While Isaac Luria expounded the kabbalah following the expulsion from Spain, Joseph Caro updated the practical application of halakhah in the Shulchan Aruch code of laws (1563). Dominic Green, WSJ, 30 Mar. 2018 Gershom Scholem, the pioneering scholar of kabbalah, was one of many public intellectuals who felt that Arendt had lost track of the human reality of the Holocaust amid the scintillating twists of her argument. George Prochnik, New York Times, 12 Apr. 2018 Incarcerated, not so much for his libidinous ways, but for gambling, cheating tourists, his flagrant libertinism in the face of the Venetian Inquisition, and his heretical interests in alchemy and the kabbalah. Gaile Robinson, star-telegram, 30 Aug. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'kabbalah.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Medieval Latin cabbala — more at cabal

First Known Use

1521, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of kabbalah was in 1521

Dictionary Entries Near kabbalah

Cite this Entry

“Kabbalah.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/kabbalah. Accessed 26 Sep. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on kabbalah

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!