or cab·ba·la, kab·a·la, kab·ba·la, kab·ba·lah

[kab-uh-luh, kuh-bah-]


a system of esoteric theosophy and theurgy developed by rabbis, reaching its peak about the 12th and 13th centuries, and influencing certain medieval and Renaissance Christian thinkers. It was based on a mystical method of interpreting Scripture by which initiates claimed to penetrate sacred mysteries. Among its central doctrines are, all creation is an emanation from the Deity and the soul exists from eternity.
any occult or secret doctrine or science.

Origin of cabala

1515–25; < Medieval Latin cab(b)ala < Hebrew qabbālāh ‘tradition’, literally, something received, i.e., handed down
Can be confusedcabal cabala Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for kabbalah

Contemporary Examples of kabbalah

  • Neilson told Newsweek that "the separation is a healthy thing for Raising Malawi and the Kabbalah Centre."

    The Daily Beast logo
    Madonna's Malawi Denial

    Wayne Barrett

    April 12, 2011

  • That goes a long way toward explaining the appeal of the Church of Scientology and the Kabbalah Centre.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Jim Carrey Almighty

    Kim Masters

    June 11, 2009

Historical Examples of kabbalah

British Dictionary definitions for kabbalah


kabbala, kabala, cabbala, cabala or qabalah


an ancient Jewish mystical tradition based on an esoteric interpretation of the Old Testament
any secret or occult doctrine or science
Derived Formskabbalism, kabalism, cabbalism, cabalism or qabalism (ˈkæbəˌlɪzəm), nounkabbalist, kabalist, cabbalist, cabalist or qabalist, nounkabbalistic, kabalistic, cabbalistic, cabalistic or qabalistic, adjective

Word Origin for kabbalah

C16: from Medieval Latin, from Hebrew qabbālāh tradition, what is received, from qābal to receive



a variant spelling of kabbalah
Derived Formscabalism (ˈkæbəˌlɪzəm), nouncabalist, nouncabalistic, adjective
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

Word Origin and History for kabbalah

see cabbala.



1670s, variant of cabbala. Related: Cabalist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper