Definition of cabal in US English:



  • A secret political clique or faction.

    ‘a cabal of dissidents’
    • ‘As bloggers become to become mainstream and not just fringe lunatics muttering in tiny cabals, power will concentrate according to network power laws.’
    • ‘Can you vote for all the nefarious cabals that really run the world?’
    • ‘But there is always a sense of foreboding on such occasions because of the secretive, mafia-like management by a cabal of political operators.’
    • ‘They're not a secret cabal that runs things from the shadows or anything, but they are important opinion leaders who happen to be very influential.’
    • ‘You have not had the same sense of people putting themselves forward or creating cabals or platforms for leadership.’
    • ‘It is a coerced transfer of income from consumers and foreign businesses to a small, politically active cabal of domestic businesses.’
    • ‘These events warrant dark nights, cruel rains and cabals gathered in corners.’
    • ‘Indeed, cliques and cabals spring up and create their own behavioral benchmarks, codes of conduct simultaneously acting inclusive and exclusive.’
    • ‘In fact, if drug reformers gain enough political power to threaten the drug-war cabal, an alliance between the two to repress youths is inevitable.’
    • ‘We do need to move forward, but as individual states with a common goal, not a superstate dominated by cliques, cabals and vested interests.’
    • ‘It's not like this is obscure information known only to specialists, available only at secret annual cabals.’
    • ‘Like all good cabals, it is hard to know exactly who belongs to the Establishment and how Machiavellian their meddling is.’
    • ‘Instead, the film suggests that the sole point of the war has been the manipulation of an emotional public in the pursuit of the nefarious ulterior motives of secret cabals.’
    • ‘There is no possibility of a centralized cabal that could appoint people of only one political coloration.’
    • ‘But wait, Ross reveals another shocking secret of the capitalist cabal.’
    • ‘Hardly a day goes past without the same cabals using the same phrases to labour the same points.’
    • ‘I'm hoping for the latter, not banking on it though because he and his cabal will do anything to maintain control up to and including criminal activity.’
    • ‘They all contend that the world is being secretly ruled by a shadowy cabal from inside a secret room.’
    • ‘It means the secret cabal of conservative scholars see you as a threat to their comfortable ivory towers which they have built with taxpayers' money, and thus are trying to censor you.’
    • ‘In a party with its cliques and cabals, his distinguishing characteristic is that he has always had an independent streak, looking out for himself and refusing to rely on others.’
    clique, faction, coterie, group, set, band, party, camp, gang, ring, cell, sect, caucus, league, confederacy, junta
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Late 16th century (denoting the Kabbalah): from French cabale, from medieval Latin cabala (see Kabbalah).