Definition of cabinet in English:



  • 1A cupboard with shelves or drawers for storing or displaying articles.

    ‘a cocktail cabinet’
    • ‘One cabinet with glass doors displayed relics from other lands and other times, fascinating trinkets.’
    • ‘These then are displayed in white glass cabinets.’
    • ‘Tasty and attractively-presented food is displayed in glass fronted cabinets.’
    • ‘The weapons were stored in various cabinets behind glass and the rest was open space.’
    • ‘The huge old kitchen was rife with cabinets and cubbies, drawers and cupboards, shelves and pie-safes, and each one had been crammed full.’
    • ‘All the pots and pans, dishes and cups, and utensils were stored inside the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen.’
    • ‘Have a think about the things in your cupboards and bathroom cabinets, and tell me this: Do you always buy the same kind of toothpaste?’
    • ‘A housekeeper polishes a glass cabinet displaying delicate mementos from Norway and New Zealand.’
    • ‘These were in all shapes and sizes, colours and textures, and she had them stored in a custom-made cabinet, drawer upon drawer of them.’
    • ‘Glass cabinets display artefacts, documents, uniforms and photographs - most of the signage was in Japanese, though an English guidebook is available.’
    • ‘There were file cabinets scattered in all sides of the room, and also drawers, cabinets, and tall shelves.’
    • ‘They kept their treasures in albums or collector boxes and stored them in cabinets and drawers.’
    • ‘It is now on display in a glass cabinet in the Basilica itself.’
    • ‘At the bottom of the stairs there was a cabinet with a cupboard underneath and a mirror on top of it.’
    • ‘The walls were lined with racks and shelves and cupboards and cabinets holding an assortment of equipment in organized rows.’
    • ‘Here are photographs of a family elder on display in a glass cabinet.’
    • ‘They went through cabinets, shelves and drawers, pulling out professional looking documents and files.’
    • ‘She was on her own in a large room filled with desks and glass cabinets on the wall full of unpleasant looking things in jars and bottles.’
    • ‘Shelves and cabinets and glass houses held a countless array of arms and equipment.’
    • ‘The blast smashed the windows of the store and of the apartment above it, and damaged glass cabinets in the store and the metal door to the storage room.’
    1. 1.1 A wooden box or piece of furniture housing a radio, television set, or speaker.
      • ‘There is also a humorous undercurrent as Seventies rock iconography gets a look-in with speaker cabinets of all shapes of sizes.’
      • ‘It wants to put up a 15m timber monopole with three antennae and a microwave dish, together with equipment cabinets and a radio base station.’
      • ‘The planned new mast features six antennae, two telecommunications dishes, and at ground level, radio equipment cabinets and ancillary development.’
      • ‘I also made some speaker cabinets and bunk beds.’
      • ‘The speaker cabinets were positioned on stage as a string quartet would be positioned.’
      • ‘He later entered the field of industrial design and soon was producing everything from chairs and radio cabinets to models of streamlined planes and ships.’
      • ‘But why would someone want ceiling or in wall speakers, instead of a pair of normal, efficient and highly affordable speaker cabinets.’
      • ‘Street furniture, utility cabinets and junction boxes are next up on the cleaning agenda.’
      • ‘Their wall of speaker cabinets was impressive.’
      • ‘And while he doesn't exactly pole vault and swing over the towering speaker cabinets anymore, he doesn't stay in one place either.’
      • ‘The living room overlooks the front garden through a double glazed picture window and has a built-in wooden bookshelf and entertainment cabinet.’
      • ‘Only on the bodies of the most dashing Italian motorcyclists does one now see leather in such flamboyant combinations, and only on the cases of treasured antique radio cabinets can one find such florid marquetry.’
      • ‘The speaker cabinet was a huge four by twelve affair, about the size and weight of a small van.’
      • ‘A radio cabinet casts a bomb-shaped shadow across the floor, while the specter of a tank shimmers in the room beyond.’
      • ‘The speaker cabinets in this type of system normally have passive crossover networks.’
      • ‘We took the amplifier up to my bedroom and then dad insisted on helping us carry the speaker cabinet up the stairs.’
      • ‘I left my position by the door and grabbed the other side of the speaker cabinet, helping to manoeuvre it forward corner by corner.’
      • ‘The loudspeaker resembled a 30s valve radio in that it had a large speaker grille and a wooden cabinet and seemed to have been created for the schools market.’
      • ‘Today high density polyethylene, with its linear chains, is used for radio and television cabinets, toys, and large-diameter pipes.’
      • ‘In an era when most speaker cabinets are mass-produced, the handmade finish on the all-wood Abby is startling in its beauty.’
  • 2(in the UK, Canada, and other Commonwealth countries) the committee of senior ministers responsible for controlling government policy.

    as modifier ‘a cabinet meeting’
    • ‘At this stage, the draft bill for the commercialisation of the directorate of civil aviation is with the cabinet committee on draft legislation.’
    • ‘He is first minister of a cabinet in a parliamentary democracy.’
    • ‘It's a cabinet government of which ministers take responsibility in their own areas.’
    • ‘In the meantime parliament had not been able to meet and the full cabinet and ministry had not been appointed.’
    • ‘He chairs the meetings of the
    • ‘The finance minister and senior cabinet colleagues believe that otherwise crèche fees will increase and negate the effect of more child benefit and tax breaks.’
    • ‘The inter ministerial group will forward the proposal to the cabinet committee on disinvestment for approval.’
    • ‘The performance of the cabinet and the parliamentary party would tend to support that view.’
    • ‘The government consists of the prime minister, his or her deputies, and the ministers who make up the cabinet; the cabinet is the supreme body of executive power.’
    • ‘She said she would be delighted to report back to the cabinet sub committee to tell them, this is what they are doing, now what are going to do for them.’
    • ‘He has retained a cabinet post as senior minister since second-generation PAP leaders came to power.’
    • ‘The leader of the majority party in the Lower House is named prime minister and governs with a cabinet of ministers.’
    • ‘As a result, the new prime minister, his cabinet and the National Assembly will be virtually powerless.’
    • ‘He fought to push it through parliament and past a sceptical cabinet committee.’
    • ‘If his proposed constitutional changes come into force, he will be able to change the prime minister and dissolve the cabinet and parliament unilaterally.’
    • ‘The reform of the executive branch of government should aim at making the cabinet fully responsible to the parliament.’
    • ‘Before he became prime minister, he had also headed the powerful education and industries ministries as well as the cabinet committee on economic affairs.’
    • ‘Last week's decision was the culmination of weeks of bitter wrangling between the new First Minister, senior cabinet colleagues and champions of the game.’
    • ‘A ban had been decided at a cabinet committee meeting on April 6.’
    • ‘But controversially, it emerged the council leader, senior cabinet colleagues and possibly opposition leaders may in future be paid a salary.’
    1. 2.1 (in the US) a body of advisers to the president, composed of the heads of the executive departments of the government.
      • ‘Commissioners each have their own private staff or circle of advisers called a cabinet.’
      • ‘The president continues restocking his cabinet.’
      • ‘Following are a few books that will prove invaluable to presidents and cabinet level advisors who want to make the Madisonian policymaking processes work.’
      • ‘In addition, the president dissolved his cabinet and said he would constitute a new government.’
      • ‘The Washington correspondent outstays Presidents and cabinets.’
      • ‘However, I guess I'd still lay long odds against it happening, since even bipartisan cabinets have mostly gone the way of the dodo bird these days.’
      • ‘The president appointed the cabinet and governed largely by decree.’
      • ‘At the national level, government leadership resides in the president and his cabinet.’
      • ‘Executive authority is vested in a cabinet led by the prime minister.’
      • ‘Similarly, within the executive branch, most cabinet meetings are closed to the public.’
      • ‘I want you to listen to what the president told his cabinet at the White House earlier this week, because he finessed a clearly, clearly dangerous situation.’
      • ‘As far as they have been concerned, reliance on staff has served their purposes better than a system that relies on the cabinet or the executive branch departments.’
      • ‘The president, his cabinet, the Pentagon brass, and leading members of Congress remain adamantly opposed to conscription.’
      • ‘I congratulate the new President and his new cabinet.’
      • ‘The Republicans also discussed giving federal financial support to the Texas and Pacific railroad and appointing some Democrats to the cabinet.’
      • ‘If taken seriously, his words could be interpreted as a threat against the life of the president and his entire cabinet.’
      • ‘These cars are to be used for the President and his cabinet when they evacuate.’
      • ‘And I think where I come in on that is I've got to trust my president and his cabinet and intelligence and military people.’
      • ‘So I've been working on it myself, and I've had some advisers from my cabinet when I was president, as well as some Carter Center folks.’
      • ‘Executive power is vested in a cabinet headed by a president who is head of state and commander in chief.’
      senior ministers, ministry, council, counsellors, administration, executive
      View synonyms
  • 3archaic A small private room.

    • ‘Decisions are often made behind closed doors - in cabinet or board room - sometimes overseas.’
    • ‘In square footage they equal nearly half the area of the bedroom, cabinet, and book room.’


Mid 16th century: from cabin + -et, influenced by French cabinet.