A small group of political schemers or conspirators. *The term is sometimes said to have originated from a committee of five ministers of Charles II, whose surnames began with C, A, B, A, and L (clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale). Though colorful, this etymology is false: the term came into English directly from the French cabale "intrigue," which derives ultimately from Hebrew qabbalah "received lore."

An interesting novella written by the Liverpudlian author Clive Barker in 1988.

Aaron Boone is a brooding young man plagued by visions of monsters and murder. Searching for answers, Boone discovers a secret underworld populated by the last examples of a dying breed of monsters known as the Nightbreed.

Soon the Nightbreed are hunted down by Boone's psychotic psychiatrist and a bunch of rednecks and, as is typical of Barker's writing, we are led to question who are the real monsters; the Nightbreed or humanity.

Also made into a visually stunning horror film "Nightbreed" (1990) by Barker starring Craig Sheffer as Aaron Boone and director David Cronenberg as his psychiatrist. Watch out for cameo appearences from Stephen King and Clive Barker himself.

Cabal (through the French cabale from the Cabbala or Kabbalah, the theosophical interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures), a private organization or party engaged in secret intrigues, and applied also to the intrigues themselves.

The word came into common usage in English during the reign of Charles II to describe the committee of the privy council known as the Committee for Foreign Affairs, which developed into the cabinet. The invidious meaning attached to the term was stereotyped by the coincidence that the initial letters of the names of the five ministers, Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley and Lauderdale, who signed the treaty of alliance with France in 1673, spelled cabal.

Being the entry for CABAL in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica, the text of which lies within the public domain.

Editor's note; the five members of the Carolingian Cabal ministry were as follows:

Ca*bal" (?), n. [F. cabale cabal, cabala LL. cabala cabala, fr. Heb. qabbal �xc7;h reception, tradition, mysterious doctrine, fr. qabal to take or receive, in Piel qibbel to abopt (a doctrine).]


Tradition; occult doctrine. See Cabala




A secret.

[Obs.] "The measuring of the temple, a cabal found out but lately."

B. Jonson.


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.

It so happend, by a whimsical coincidence, that in 1671 the cabinet consisted of five persons, the initial letters of whose names made up the word cabal; Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale.



The secret artifices or machinations of a few persons united in a close design; in intrigue.

By cursed cabals of women. Dryden.

Syn. - Junto; intrigue; plot; combination; conspiracy. -- Cabal, Combination, Faction. An association for some purpose considered to be bad is the idea common to these terms. A combination is an organized union of individuals for mutual support, in urging their demands or resisting the claims of others, and may be good or bad according to circumstances; as, a combiniation of workmen or of employers to effect or to prevent a chang in prices. A cabal is a secret association of a few individuals who seek by cunning practices to obtain office and power. A faction is a larger body than a cabal, employed for selfish purposes in agitating the community and working up an excitement with a view to change the existing order of things. "Selfishness, insubordination, and laxity of morals give rise to combinations, which belong particularly to the lower orders of society. Restless, jealous, ambitious, and little minds are ever forming cabals. Factions belong especially to free governments, and are raised by busy and turbulent spirits for selfish porposes".



© Webster 1913.

Ca*bal", v. i. [int. & p. p./pos> Caballed (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Caballing]. [Cf. F. cabaler.]

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. Dryden.


© Webster 1913.

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