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[kab-in] /ˈkæb ɪn/
a small house or cottage, usually of simple design and construction:
He was born in a cabin built of rough logs.
an enclosed space for more or less temporary occupancy, as the living quarters in a trailer or the passenger space in a cable car.
the enclosed space for the pilot, cargo, or especially passengers in an air or space vehicle.
an apartment or room in a ship, as for passengers.
(in a naval vessel) living accommodations for officers.
in cabin-class accommodations or by cabin-class conveyance:
to travel cabin.
verb (used without object)
to live in a cabin:
They cabin in the woods on holidays.
verb (used with object)
to confine; enclose tightly; cramp.
Origin of cabin
1325-75; Middle English cabane < Middle French < Old Provençal cabana < Late Latin capanna (Isidore of Seville), of uncertain, perhaps pre-Latin orig.; spelling with i perhaps by influence of French cabine (see cabinet)
Related forms
uncabined, adjective
1. cot, shanty, shack, cottage. 6. quarters, compartment. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for cabins
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • cabins are by no means as wretched for residences as their name imports.

  • I sent the quarter-boat back to the rescue of the people in the houses and cabins.

    Up the River Oliver Optic
  • "I noticed something like a muster-book in one of the cabins," said Dacres.

    The Dreadnought of the Air Percy F. Westerman
  • The Indians had shot flaming torches, and the roofs of the cabins were on fire.

    Daniel Boone Katharine E. Wilkie
  • A stampede to our cabins would follow, and a hasty upgathering of such literature as we could lay our hands upon.

    Alaska Ella Higginson
British Dictionary definitions for cabins


a small simple dwelling; hut
a simple house providing accommodation for travellers or holiday-makers at a motel or holiday camp
a room used as an office or living quarters in a ship
a covered compartment used for shelter or living quarters in a small boat
(in a warship) the compartment or room reserved for the commanding officer
(Brit) another name for signal box
  1. the enclosed part of a light aircraft in which the pilot and passengers sit
  2. the part of an airliner in which the passengers are carried
  3. the section of an aircraft used for cargo
to confine in a small space
Word Origin
C14: from Old French cabane, from Old Provençal cabana, from Late Latin capanna hut
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for cabins



mid-14c., from Old French cabane "hut, cabin," from Old Provençal cabana, from Late Latin capanna "hut" (source of Spanish cabana, Italian capanna), of doubtful origin. French cabine (18c.), Italian cabino are English loan-words. Meaning "room or partition of a vessel" is from late 14c. Cabin fever first recorded by 1918 in the "need to get out and about" sense; earlier (1820s) it was a term for typhus.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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cabins in the Bible

only in Jer. 37:16 (R.V., "cells"), arched vaults or recesses off a passage or room; cells for the closer confinement of prisoners.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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