• WordNet 3.6
    • v cabal engage in plotting or enter into a conspiracy, swear together "They conspired to overthrow the government"
    • n cabal a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot)
    • n cabal a clique (often secret) that seeks power usually through intrigue
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Cabal A number of persons united in some close design, usually to promote their private views and interests in church or state by intrigue; a secret association composed of a few designing persons; a junto.
    • Cabal A secret. "The measuring of the temple, a cabal found out but lately."
    • Cabal The secret artifices or machinations of a few persons united in a close design; intrigue. "By cursed cabals of women."
    • v. i Cabal To unite in a small party to promote private views and interests by intrigue; to intrigue; to plot. "Caballing still against it with the great."
    • Cabal Tradition; occult doctrine. See Cabala.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n cabal The cabala (which see).
    • n cabal A secret.
    • n cabal Conjoint intrigue; secret artifices of a few persons united in some design: as, “curs'd cabals of women,”
    • n cabal A number of persons united in some close design, usually to promote their private views in church or state by intrigue; a junto. The name of “the Cabal” was given to an unpopular ministry of Charles II., consisting of Clifford, Ashley, Buckingham, Arlington, and Lauderdale, the initials of whose names happened to compose the word.
    • n cabal Synonyms Combination, Party, Faction, Cabal, Camarilla, Junto. Combination is the most general of these words, but it expresses least of permanence in organization; it often denotes the union for special ends of individuals or parties otherwise antagonistic: as, the Democrats and Greenbackers entered into a combination to secure the election. A party is strictly a more close and permanent union of individuals, organized to promote certain principles or common interests which they consider of fundamental importance: as, the Low Church party, the Republican party; but the term is more loosely used where organization is wanting: as, the Free-trade party. Combination and party may express that which is entirely reputable; the other words are chiefly unfavorable in their signification. A faction is commonly a section of a party; it is generally a comparatively small number of individuals, whose principles and objects are often of a captious, frivolous, or selfish nature, but advocated so persistently as to be annoying, and with so little regard to the general interest as sometimes to be dangerous. Cabal and junto express a union less comprehensive than party or even faction; the intrigues of a cabal or junto are usually conducted mainly for the personal aggrandizement of its members. Junto has almost entirely given place to cabal in modern use. A camarilla is a more or less united body of secret counselors of a ruler, acting generally in opposition to his official advisers, and constituting a “power behind the throne.”
    • cabal To form a cabal; intrigue conjointly; unite in secret artifices to effect some design.
    • n cabal A horse.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Cabal ka-bal′ a small party united for some secret design: the plot itself: a name in English history esp. given to five unpopular ministers of Charles II. (1672), whose initials happened to make up the word
    • v.i Cabal to form a party for a secret purpose: to plot:—pr.p. cabal′ling
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. cabale, cabal, cabala, LL. cabala, cabala, fr. Heb. qabbālēh, reception, tradition, mysterious doctrine, fr. qābal, to take or receive, in Piël qibbel, to adopt (a doctrine)


In literature:

The Fronde cabal was then brooding in the dark.
"Political Women (Vol. 1 of 2)" by Sutherland Menzies
People denounced the Austrian cabal, and the queen as its centre.
"Lectures on the French Revolution" by John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton
His changed attitude emboldened a cabal in her own household to effect her destruction.
"Political Women, Vol. 2 (of 2)" by Sutherland Menzies
The cabals continue; but later, on the overthrow of Bonapartism, he is actually raised to the episcopate.
"A History of the French Novel, Vol. 2" by George Saintsbury
The whole palace was in a ferment with literary intrigues and cabals.
"Critical and Historical Essays, Volume III (of 3)" by Thomas Babington Macaulay
The committee immediately dispatched deputies to arrest and bring to the Fort the leaders of this cabal of misgovernment.
"Shadow and Light" by Mifflin Wistar Gibbs
She saw plainly that The Fox had started the cabal against her.
"Ruth Fielding at Briarwood Hall" by Alice B. Emerson
It was he who had first uncovered the war cabal.
"The Martian Cabal" by Roman Frederick Starzl
Mornay by chance one day entered the cabinet of the king, where his enemies were busy in their cabals.
"Henry IV, Makers of History" by John S. C. Abbott
Cabal, its early uses, 139.
"Notes and Queries, Index of Volume 5, January-June, 1852" by Various

In news:

The movie includes a cabal of incessantly mocked "deaf Jews".
Amy Goodman interviewed protest experts Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dorhn on NATO ("a global secret cabal, the military arm of the global one percent"—that latter phrase is getting some traction).
School of seven bells face to face on high places (jesu rmx) my cabal.
I hope this blog speaks for those in Queens County who feel isolated politically due to the domination of the borough by a small cabal of Democrats who have dominated our elected representation for over a half a century.
As members of the Santa Barbara education cabal milled around El Paseo restaurant on election night, they were fairly confident about the passage of two local parcel taxes, A and B.
He'll speak with Guy Lawson about hedge fund fraud, a "secret market," and a mysterious cabal known as the Octopus.
Geraldo Rivera Suspects Homeland Security Is Run by 'Lesbian Cabal '.
Decoding the Neocon Cabal .
As a small-town newspaper peon, I'm not a part of that cabal.
So can the " knitting police," a self-appointed cabal that believe it has the power to declare what's right and what's wrong in the world of needlework.
(He didn't help his cause by suggesting that a cabal of short-sellers was led by an unidentified "Sith Lord".
Art's grass-roots campaign challenges the Washington, DC, cabal of insider politics and more.
Is Bilderberg a conference on world affairs or a powerful global cabal.
NAACP Prez Urges Cuomo To Break Up Senate's 'Cozy Little Cabal.
O'Malley blames Susan Rice's exit on 'a small cabal' of GOP senators.

In science:

Van Wesep, Wadge degrees and descriptive set theory, in: Cabal Seminar 76-77, edited by A. S.
Game representations of classes of piecewise definable functions
The “staggered cabal ” promotes using a technique known as “root ed staggered quarks.” This is the procedure mentioned above of starting with extra particles and taking a fractional power of the fermion determinant.
So you want to be a lattice theorist?
The extender algebra and Σ2 1 absoluteness, to appear in The Cabal Seminar, vol IV, edited by Alexander S.
Descriptive inner model theory
For our results in Section 6 we shall need some basic notions of the Descriptive Set Theory of the Cabal Seminar.
Techniques for approaching the dual Ramsey property in the projective hierarchy
Everything we lay out here can be found in [Mo80], our account is just for the convenience of the more combinatorially oriented reader who might be unfamiliar with the language of the Cabal.
Techniques for approaching the dual Ramsey property in the projective hierarchy