Definition for CA-BAL'

CA-BAL', n. [Fr. cabale, a club, society or combination; It. cabala, knowledge of secret things; Sp. cabala, secret science; cabal, perfect, just, exact; Heb. קבל kabal, to take, receive, accept; Ch. to cry out, to bawl; also to take or receive; also to be dark, to obscure; Syr. to accuse, oppose, or censure, to cavil; Eth. to accept, to pour out; Sam. to accept, and to darken; Ar. to admit or accept, as agreeable; to come; to be surety, to give bail. See Class Bl. This word seems to include the significations of several biliteral roots. Qu. W. cafael, to get or obtain; or gavaelu, to hold. The primary sense of the root seems to be, to catch or seize by rushing on, or in general, to press, to drive; hence the sense of collection, combination and accusation.]

  1. A number of persons united in some close design; usually to promote their private views in church or state by intrigue. A junto. It is sometimes synonymous with faction, but a cabal usually consists of fewer men than a party, and the word generally implies close union and secret intrigues. This name was given to the ministry of Charles II., Clifford, Ashley, Buckingham, Arlington, and Lauderdale, the initials of whose names compose the word.
  2. Intrigue; secret artifices of a few men united in a close design. – Dryden.

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