Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An upright, cupboardlike repository with shelves, drawers, or compartments for the safekeeping or display of objects.
  • noun Computers The box that houses the main components of a computer, such as the central processing unit, disk drives, and expansion slots.
  • noun 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.
  • noun Archaic A small or private room set aside for a specific activity.
  • adjective Suitable for storage or display in a cabinet, as because of size or decorative quality.
  • adjective Of, relating to, or being a member of a governmental cabinet.
  • adjective Used in the making of cabinets.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To inclose in or as in a cabinet.
  • noun A little cabin; a small habitation or retreat.
  • noun A small room; a retired apartment; a closet.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun A meeting or session of a cabinet council.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Suitable for a cabinet; small.
  • intransitive verb rare To inclose.
  • noun obsolete A hut; a cottage; a small house.
  • noun A small room, or retired apartment; a closet.
  • noun A private room in which consultations are held.
  • noun The advisory council of the chief executive officer of a nation; a cabinet council.
  • noun A set of drawers or a cupboard intended to contain articles of value. Hence
  • noun A decorative piece of furniture, whether open like an étagère or closed with doors. See Étagère.
  • noun Any building or room set apart for the safe keeping and exhibition of works of art, etc.; also, the collection itself.
  • noun A meeting of the cabinet.
  • noun a member of a cabinet council.
  • noun a photograph of a size smaller than an imperial, though larger than a carte de visite.
  • noun a small and generally highly finished picture, suitable for a small room and for close inspection.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A storage closet either separate from, or built into, a wall.
  • noun historical A size of photograph, specifically one measuring 3⅞" by 5½".
  • noun A group of advisors to a government or business entity.
  • noun politics, often capitalized 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.
  • noun archaic A small chamber or private room.
  • noun often capitalized a collection of art or ethnographic objects
  • noun dialectal, Rhode Island milkshake

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

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

Etymologies

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.

Examples

  • (_Moving to cabinet, puts curtains and work-box on top of cabinet_.)

    Mr. Pim Passes By

  • And, his appointment as Minister of National Defence and Veterans Affairs on October 4, 1996, illustrates that the reward for a job well done in cabinet is more often the awarding of an even greater challenge than what was met in the past.

    Challenges and Choices

  • The back of the cabinet is also equipped with openings to allow cables to pass through.

    Casamania’s 2009 Salone del Mobile Preview

  • Above the cabinet is my snake mask I bought in Bhutan, my ladies 'wig for those late nights clubbing, and a heavy-duty plastic skull my dad picked up in medical school.

    Send Us Your Shelf Porn! | Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources – Covering Comic Book News and Entertainment

  • Peter Black notes that Jane's track record as a member of the cabinet is about as popular as a Rancor at a Jawaese wedding.

    Grant shake-up plan

  • Peter Black notes that Jane's track record as a member of the cabinet is about as popular as a Rancor at a Jawaese wedding.

    Archive 2008-11-01

  • He was commenting on the all-out effort by party leaders, including certain cabinet members, to pressure the National Prosecuting Authority not to pursue the corruption charges that had been lingering since 2005.

    Jacob’s Ladder

  • I like it more than coffee; my coffee cabinet is filled with more tea that I can cound on both hands.

    Welcome to the Boston Tea Party « Northern Belle

  • By the way, the liquor cabinet is concealed behind the Yoshinaga shrine.

    Go west, young woman

  • He was commenting on the all-out effort by party leaders, including certain cabinet members, to pressure the National Prosecuting Authority not to pursue the corruption charges that had been lingering since 2005.

    Jacob’s Ladder

Comments

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  • "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

  • Yum! Another good reason to visit Rhode Island.

    December 31, 2007

  • What are the others, rt?

    January 1, 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

  • A road trip or a Rhode trip?

    January 2, 2008

  • Ah! Both, I suppose. :-)

    January 2, 2008

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

    January 2, 2008

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

    January 2, 2008

  • "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

  • "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