a small group of secret plotters, as against a government or person in authority.
the plots and schemes of such a group; intrigue.
a clique, as in artistic, literary, or theatrical circles.
verb (used without object), caballed, caballing.
to form a cabal; intrigue; conspire; plot.

1610–20, for an earlier sense; earlier cabbal < Medieval Latin cabbala. See cabala

caballer, noun

cabal, cabala.

1. junta, faction, band, league, ring. 2. See conspiracy. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
cabal (kəˈbæl)
1.  a small group of intriguers, esp one formed for political purposes
2.  a secret plot, esp a political one; conspiracy; intrigue
3.  a secret or exclusive set of people; clique
vb , -bals, -balling, -balled
4.  to form a cabal; conspire; plot
[C17: from French cabale, from Medieval Latin cabala; see cabbala]

Cabal (kəˈbæl)
English history the Cabal a group of ministers of Charles II that governed from 1667--73: consisting of Clifford, Ashley, Buckingham, Arlington, and Lauderdale
[see kabbalah; by a coincidence, the initials of Charles II's ministers can be arranged to form this word]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1520s, "mystical interpretation of the Old Testament," later "society, small group meeting privately" (1660s), from Fr. cabal, in both senses, from M.L. cabbala (see cabbala). Popularized in English 1673 as an acronym for five intriguing ministers of Charles II (Clifford,
Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale), which gave the word its sinister connotations.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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