cabal 1 of 2

as in Mafia
a group involved in secret or criminal activities a conspiracy theory about the existence of an international cabal devoted to world domination

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cabal

2 of 2

verb

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How does the noun cabal differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of cabal are conspiracy, intrigue, machination, and plot. While all these words mean "a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end," cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence.

a cabal among powerful senators

Where would conspiracy be a reasonable alternative to cabal?

While in some cases nearly identical to cabal, conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery.

a conspiracy to fix prices

When could intrigue be used to replace cabal?

While the synonyms intrigue and cabal are close in meaning, intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity.

backstairs intrigue

In what contexts can machination take the place of cabal?

In some situations, the words machination and cabal are roughly equivalent. However, machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means.

the machinations of a party boss

When is plot a more appropriate choice than cabal?

The synonyms plot and cabal are sometimes interchangeable, but plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme.

an assassination plot

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Cite this Entry

“Cabal.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/cabal. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

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