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From cabin +‎ -et, influenced by French cabinet. In sense of “a government group”, compare salon, also named for a room used to gather.



cabinet (plural cabinets)

  1. A storage closet either separate from, or built into, a wall.
  2. cupboard
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, chapter 3, in The China Governess[1]:
      ‘[…] There's every Staffordshire crime-piece ever made in this cabinet, and that's unique. The Van Hoyer Museum in New York hasn't that very rare second version of Maria Marten's Red Barn over there, nor the little Frederick George Manning—he was the criminal Dickens saw hanged on the roof of the gaol in Horsemonger Lane, by the way—’
  3. (historical) A size of photograph, specifically one measuring 3⅞" by 5½".
    • 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, A Scandal In Bohemia, Norton (2005), p. 19,
      Holmes took a note of it. “One other question,” said he. “Was the photograph a cabinet?”
  4. A group of advisors to a government or business entity.
  5. (politics, often capitalized) In parliamentary and some other systems of government, the group of ministers responsible for creating government policy and for overseeing the departments comprising the executive branch.
  6. (archaic) A small chamber or private room.
    • Prescott
      Philip passed some hours every day in his father's cabinet.
  7. (often capitalized) A collection of art or ethnographic objects.
  8. (dialectal, Rhode Island) Milkshake.
  9. (obsolete) A hut; a cottage; a small house.
    • Spenser
      Hearken a while from thy green cabinet, / The rural song of careful Colinet.


See also[edit]




From Italian gabinetto.



cabinet m (plural cabinets)

  1. (archaic) a study
  2. an office, a surgery
  3. a cabinet
  4. a cabinet of government advisors
  5. (in the plural) the toilet, lavatory

Further reading[edit]