Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Cabal’.

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
A junto or council of intriguers. One of the Ministries of Charles II. was called a cabal (1670), because the initial letters of its members formed this acrostic: Clifford, Ashley, Buckingham, Arlington, and Lauderdale. This accident may have popularised the word, but, without doubt, we borrowed it from the French cabale, “an intriguing faction,” and Hebrew cab’ala, “secret knowledge.” A junto is merely an assembly; Spanish, junta, a council. (See NOTARICA; TAMMANY RING.)   1
“In dark cabals and mighty juntos met.”
        “These ministers were emphatically called the Cabal, and they soon made the appellation so infamous that it has never since … . been used except as a term of reproach.”—Macaulay: England, vol. i. chap. ii. p. 165.



Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.