View synonyms for cabinet


[ kab-uh-nit ]


  1. a piece of furniture with shelves, drawers, etc., for holding or displaying items:

    a curio cabinet;

    a file cabinet.

  2. a wall cupboard used for storage, as of kitchen utensils or toilet articles:

    a kitchen cabinet;

    a medicine cabinet.

  3. a piece of furniture containing a radio or television set, usually standing on the floor and often having a record player or a place for phonograph records.
  4. Often Cabinet. a council advising a president, sovereign, etc., especially the group of ministers or executives responsible for the government of a nation.

    Synonyms: ministry

  5. Often Cabinet. (in the United States) an advisory body to the president, consisting of the heads of the 13 executive departments of the federal government.
  6. a small case with compartments for valuables or other small objects.
  7. a small chamber or booth for special use, especially a shower stall.
  8. a private room.
  9. a room set aside for the exhibition of small works of art or objets d'art.
  10. Also called cabinet wine. a dry white wine produced in Germany from fully matured grapes without the addition of extra sugar.
  11. New England (chiefly Rhode Island and Southern Massachusetts). a milkshake made with ice cream.
  12. Archaic. a small room.
  13. Obsolete. a small cabin.


  1. pertaining to a political cabinet:

    a cabinet meeting.

  2. pertaining to a private room.
  3. of suitable value, beauty, or size for a private room, small display case, etc.:

    a cabinet edition of Milton.

  4. of, relating to, or used by a cabinetmaker or in cabinetmaking.
  5. Drafting. designating a method of projection cabinet projection in which a three-dimensional object is represented by a drawing cabinet drawing having all vertical and horizontal lines drawn to exact scale, with oblique lines reduced to about half scale so as to offset the appearance of distortion. Compare axonometric, isometric ( def 5 ), oblique ( def 13 ).


/ ˈkæbɪnɪt /


    1. a piece of furniture containing shelves, cupboards, or drawers for storage or display
    2. ( as modifier )

      cabinet teak

  1. the outer case of a television, radio, etc
    1. often capital the executive and policy-making body of a country, consisting of all government ministers or just the senior ministers
    2. sometimes capital an advisory council to a president, sovereign, governor, etc
    3. ( as modifier )

      a cabinet minister

      a cabinet reshuffle

    1. a standard size of paper, 6 × 4 inches (15 × 10 cm) or 6 1 2 × 4 1 4 inches (16.5 × 10.5 cm), for mounted photographs
    2. ( as modifier )

      a cabinet photograph

  2. printing an enclosed rack for holding cases of type, etc
  3. archaic.
    a private room
  4. modifier suitable in size, value, decoration, etc, for a display cabinet

    a cabinet edition of Shakespeare

  5. modifier (of a drawing or projection of a three-dimensional object) constructed with true horizontal and vertical representation of scale but with oblique distances reduced to about half scale to avoid the appearance of distortion
  6. modifier (of a wine) specially selected and usually rare
“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


  1. A select group of officials who advise the head of government. In nations governed by parliaments , such as Britain , the members of the cabinet typically have seats in parliament. ( Compare cabinet under “American Politics.” )


  1. A group of presidential advisers, composed of the heads of the fourteen government departments (the secretaries of the Department of Agriculture , Department of Commerce , Department of Defense , Department of Education , Department of Energy , Department of Health and Human Services , Department of Housing and Urban Development , Department of the Interior , Department of Labor , Department of State , Department of Transportation , Department of the Treasury , Department of Veterans Affairs , and the attorney general (head of the Department of Justice ) — all of whom are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate ) and a few other select government officials. Theoretically, the cabinet is charged with debating major policy issues and recommending action by the executive branch ; the actual influence of the cabinet, however, is limited by competition from other advisory staffs.
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Other Words From

  • su·per·cab·i·net noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of cabinet1

First recorded in 1540–50; from Middle French, equivalent to cabine “hut, room on a ship” (of uncertain origin, but frequently alleged to be alteration of cabane cabin ) + -et -et
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Word History and Origins

Origin of cabinet1

C16: from Old French, diminutive of cabine, of uncertain origin
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Example Sentences

Whether you need a heavy duty waterproof and fireproof lockable filing storage cabinet, or a simple case for carrying documents to your job, we’ve assembled the best filing cabinet options for your varying needs.

The majority of Kenyans who get coronavirus—around 80%, according to health cabinet secretary Mutahi Kagwe—seem to be asymptomatic.

From Quartz

In Japan’s political system, chief cabinet secretary is a position that combines formidable powers.

From Fortune

My cabinet full of knock off S’well bottles from various networking events would tell you that I don’t need any more water bottles.

From Fortune

It was trending because of a baseless conspiracy theory that listings for suspiciously high-priced cabinets were named after missing children.

Conestoga Wood Specialties Corporation A Pennsylvania-based wood cabinet and specialty products manufacturer.

A third cabinet member used public funds to pay in an S & M bar.

Other cabinet minister scandals have been reported in the media, and investigations may take place.

But perhaps the most spectacular lot in the sale is a silver jug, a birthday present to Churchill from his War Cabinet in 1942.

Cabinet ministers of the day gather to review the names and the allegations.

His enemies in the cabinet were quick to perceive when their devices had taken effect on the King and Queen.

All that was necessary was a slight knowledge of a Cabinet Minister, and a smattering of schooling.

Meanwhile the cabal against the ruined Ripperda raged with redoubled fury in the Spanish cabinet.

A certain cabinet minister being asked why he did not promote merit?

The prime-minister, the chancellor of the exchequer, two other members of the cabinet, and an ambassador were his companions.


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More About Cabinet

What is the Cabinet?

The Cabinet is the group of advisors to the president of the United States. The Cabinet is made of 25 members, many of whom would be in line to be president if the president was suddenly unable to do their job, called the line of succession.

As the head of the United States government and the leader of the executive branch, the president has many responsibilities and powers. Because the work is too much for one person, the president has always had a small group of advisors to guide them and lead the executive departments. This group is known as the Cabinet.

The members of the Cabinet all have very different roles and responsibilities. Many of them are in charge of essential departments that keep the daily operations of the United States going, such as the Department of the Treasury, which collects revenue.

Every member of the Cabinet must be confirmed by majority vote in the Senate, which is part of the checks and balances of the US government. In addition to the vice president and the president’s chief of staff, the Cabinet includes the heads of the 15 executive departments, the presidential science advisor, and several other federal administrators.

Why is Cabinet important?

The term Cabinet is never mentioned in the Constitution of the United States. Although the first records of the term to refer to the US president’s advisors are uncertain, James Madison was the first president to use it to refer to his advisors. However, the Constitution does state that the president may require the advice of the “principal Officer in each of the executive Departments.” The Constitution states that these people must be confirmed by the Senate.

Every US president has had a Cabinet, all the way back to George Washington. During Washington’s time, there were only four executive departments, and Washington did not include Vice President John Adams in his Cabinet. Because he wanted a wide range of opinions, Washington’s Cabinet included men with conflicting political ideas. Notably, his first Cabinet included bitter enemies Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.

In the hundreds of years since the first Cabinet, the number of members in the Cabinet has changed with the addition or removal of executive departments, as well as certain executive positions being elevated to “Cabinet-level” importance.

Did you know … ?

President James Monroe is the only person in American history to hold two Cabinet positions simultaneously. Monroe was named Secretary of State in 1811 during the presidency of James Madison but also temporarily held the position of Secretary of War during the War of 1814 because of his extensive military knowledge.

What are real-life examples of Cabinet?

This photo shows President Barack Obama meeting with members of his Cabinet in 2015.

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Despite their importance, the members of the Cabinet may not be as familiar to Americans as the president and vice president are.

Quiz yourself!

True or False?

The US Constitution allows the president to have a Cabinet of advisors, as long as the Senate approves the advisors.




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