from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An upright, cupboardlike repository with shelves, drawers, or compartments for the safekeeping or display of objects.
  • n. Computer Science The box that houses the main components of a computer, such as the central processing unit, disk drives, and expansion slots.
  • n. A body of persons appointed by a head of state or a prime minister to head the executive departments of the government and to act as official advisers.
  • n. Archaic A small or private room set aside for a specific activity.
  • n. Rhode Island & Southeastern Massachusetts See milk shake. See Regional Note at milk shake.
  • adj. Suitable for storage or display in a cabinet, as because of size or decorative quality.
  • adj. Of, relating to, or being a member of a governmental cabinet: cabinet matters; a cabinet minister.
  • adj. Used in the making of cabinets: teak and other heavy cabinet wood.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A storage closet either separate from, or built into, a wall.
  • n. A size of photograph, specifically one measuring 3⅞" by 5½".
  • n. A group of advisors to a government or business entity.
  • n. In parliamentary and some other systems of government, the group of ministers responsible for creating government policy and for overseeing the departments comprising the executive branch.
  • n. A small chamber or private room.
  • n. a collection of art or ethnographic objects
  • n. milkshake

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Suitable for a cabinet; small.
  • n. A hut; a cottage; a small house.
  • n. A small room, or retired apartment; a closet.
  • n. A private room in which consultations are held.
  • n. The advisory council of the chief executive officer of a nation; a cabinet council.
  • n.
  • n. A set of drawers or a cupboard intended to contain articles of value. Hence
  • n. A decorative piece of furniture, whether open like an étagère or closed with doors. See Étagère.
  • n. Any building or room set apart for the safe keeping and exhibition of works of art, etc.; also, the collection itself.
  • intransitive v. To inclose.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A little cabin; a small habitation or retreat.
  • n. A small room; a retired apartment; a closet.
  • n. A private room in which consultations are held; specifically, the closet or private apartment in which a sovereign confers with his privy council or most trusted ministers.
  • n. Hence An executive council; the select council of a sovereign or of an executive government; the collective body of ministers who direct the government of a nation or country.
  • n. A meeting or session of a cabinet council.
  • n. A piece of furniture having shelves or drawers, or both, or simply cupboards inclosed with doors; especially, one of ornamental character, decorated with carving, inlaying, painting, lacquer, medallions of painted porcelain, or enamel or metal appliqués.
  • n. Any part of a building, or one or more whole buildings, set apart for the conservation of works of art, antiquities, etc.; hence, by metonymy, the collection itself: as, a mineral cabinet.
  • n. In printing, an inclosed frame for printers' cases, generally used for job-type.
  • Confidential; secret; private.
  • Relating to a cabinet; belonging to or constituting a body of ministers of state: as, a cabinet minister; a cabinet council.
  • Belonging to a private collection, private cellar, or the like, and therefore presumably of superior quality: as, cabinet wines.
  • Hence Of such size, beauty, or value as to be kept in a cabinet, or to be fitted for use in a private chamber: as, a cabinet edition of a book; a cabinet organ; a cabinet pianoforte; a cabinet picture; cabinet photographs.
  • A council held with privacy; the confidential council of a prince or an executive magistrate; a council of cabinet ministers held with privacy to deliberate upon public affairs.
  • The members of a privy council; a select number of confidential counselors; specifically, same as cabinet, I., 4.
  • To inclose in or as in a cabinet.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. housing for electronic instruments, as radio or television
  • n. a storage compartment for clothes and valuables; usually it has a lock
  • n. persons appointed by a head of state to head executive departments of government and act as official advisers
  • n. a piece of furniture resembling a cupboard with doors and shelves and drawers; for storage or display


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

French, partly from diminutive of Old North French cabine, gambling-room (perhaps alteration of Old French cabane, small house; see cabin) and partly from Italian gabinetto, closet, chest of drawers; akin to Old North French cabine. N., sense 5, possibly from the square wooden container in which the mixer was encased.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From cabin +‎ -et, influenced by French cabinet. In sense of “a government group”, compare salon, also named for a room used to gather.



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  • cabinet redux?

    May 4, 2012

  • Hey, this is iroquoisy for me again! This morning I had a conversation with a couple of cow-orkers about how to say "I'm going to go to the bathroom" in French. There were a few options ("Je vais aux toilettes," "Je vais au WC,") but my new favorite is "Je vais au cabinet" (which, apparently, can be shortened to "Je vais au cab.") Later, when I was trying to explain to some other folks about how my Motown list was iroquoisy, the first word I saw over there was cabinet.

    May 3, 2012

  • "In 17th-century parlance, both French and English, a cabinet came to signify a collection of works of art, which might still also include an assembly objects of virtù or curiosities, such as a virtuoso would find intellectually stimulating. In 1714 Michael Bernhard Valentini published an early museological work, Museum Museorum, an account of the cabinets known to him with catalogues of their contents."

    --From Wikipedia's Cabinet of curiosities article, which I looked up because Wordnik's random feature showed me sylloge and I was thinking of different collections. The cabinet of curiosities article directed me to Wikipedia's virtù article--even though Wordnik had already showed me that the word virtu would be a better fit when I was looking it up because of bilby's puns earlier today over on the veerto list--and thus, this word word is iroquoisy. QED.

    March 9, 2011

  • "The oldest item in the society’s “cabinet” (the coin-maven word for collection) is one of the first coins ever produced, made of gold-silver alloy and issued around 650 B.C. by a Lydian king who was an ancestor of Croesus."

    The New York Times, A Treasure Travels, Inconspicuously, by Glenn Collins, June 16, 2008

    June 17, 2008

  • As long as it's not an outmoded toad, as slow as a nematode.

    January 2, 2008

  • Go there by amphibian for a rode toad Rhode road trip.

    January 2, 2008

  • Ah! Both, I suppose. :-)

    January 2, 2008

  • A road trip or a Rhode trip?

    January 2, 2008

  • Yarb, nice to see you back in Wordietown. :-)

    Oh, there are many reasons! Coastland, birds, history, architecture, lighthouses....Then again, it doesn't take much to convince me to take a road trip.

    And don't forget: Rhode Island is a useful unit of measure.

    January 2, 2008

  • What are the others, rt?

    January 1, 2008

  • Yum! Another good reason to visit Rhode Island.

    December 31, 2007

  • "When ice cream is added, Coffee Milk is called a “Coffee Cabinet” or “Coffee Cab.” In other words, a “cabinet” is a local term for a “frappe” which is a regional term for an ice cream milk shake. It is though to be called a “cabinet” because it unknown originator kept his blender in a kitchen cabinet."

    Rhode Island Coffee Cabinet

    December 30, 2007