Definition of cabal in US English:



  • A secret political clique or faction.

    ‘a cabal of dissidents’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There is no possibility of a centralized cabal that could appoint people of only one political coloration.’
    • ‘Hardly a day goes past without the same cabals using the same phrases to labour the same points.’
    • ‘Indeed, cliques and cabals spring up and create their own behavioral benchmarks, codes of conduct simultaneously acting inclusive and exclusive.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is a coerced transfer of income from consumers and foreign businesses to a small, politically active cabal of domestic businesses.’
    • ‘We do need to move forward, but as individual states with a common goal, not a superstate dominated by cliques, cabals and vested interests.’
    • ‘But there is always a sense of foreboding on such occasions because of the secretive, mafia-like management by a cabal of political operators.’
    • ‘But wait, Ross reveals another shocking secret of the capitalist cabal.’
    • ‘Like all good cabals, it is hard to know exactly who belongs to the Establishment and how Machiavellian their meddling is.’
    • ‘It's not like this is obscure information known only to specialists, available only at secret annual cabals.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You have not had the same sense of people putting themselves forward or creating cabals or platforms for leadership.’
    • ‘These events warrant dark nights, cruel rains and cabals gathered in corners.’
    • ‘They all contend that the world is being secretly ruled by a shadowy cabal from inside a secret room.’
    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).