From French cabale, from Medieval Latin cabala, which in turn is derived from the Hebrew קבלה (kabbala, “something received”) (i.e., from tradition, from antiquity). It is likely that the mystical often secretive nature of Kabbalah led to formation of the word cabal.
cabal (plural cabals)
- A usually secret exclusive organization of individuals gathered for a political purpose.
- The cabal is plotting to take over the world.
- A secret plot.
- The cabal to destroy the building was foiled by federal agents.
- An identifiable group within the tradition of Discordianism.
- To engage in the activities of a cabal
1840, George Payne Rainsford James, The king's highway, volume 1, page 68-69:
- […] I believed her to have been carried off by some persons belonging to a party of Jacobites who were known to be caballing against the government, though to what extent was not then ascertained.
cabal m, f (plural cabales)