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."