ca-bal (k-bal) n.
1. A conspiratorial group of plotters or intriguers: "Espionage is quite precisely it--a cabal of powerful men, working secretly" (Frank Conroy).
2. A secret scheme or plot. See Synonyms at conspiracy v. intr. ca-balled, ca-bal-ling, ca-bals. To form a cabal; conspire. [French cabale, from Medieval Latin cabala. See CABALA.]
WORD HISTORY: The history of cabal reveals how a word can be transferred from one sphere of activity to another while retaining only a tenuous connection with its past. Ultimately from Hebrew but transmitted to English probably by way of Medieval Latin and French, cabal is first recorded in English in 1616 in the sense "cabala." Cabala was the name for the Hebrew oral tradition transmitted by Moses and also the name for a Jewish religious philosophy based on an esoteric interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures. The notion "esoteric" is central to the development of this word in English, for cabal, probably following the sense development in French, came to mean "a tradition, special interpretation, or secret," "a private intrigue" (first recorded in 1646-1647), and "a small body of intriguers" (first recorded in 1660). It is probably not coincidental that cabal is found with these latter meanings during the mid-17th century, that time of plots and counterplots by Royalists and Parliamentarians. The word gained a false etymology when it was noticed that the five most influential ministers of Charles II were named Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley, and Lauderdale.
A group of people who share characteristics : circle, bunch, crowd, gang, set, coterie, clique, society, cabal, company, knot. A secret agreement or plan to attain a wrongful end : conspiracy, cabal, intrigue, machination, plot, scheme, collusion, connivance, treason, treachery, sedition. An organized group of criminals or wrongdoers : gang, band, cabal, machine, mob, pack, dregs of society, bad guys, ring. To work out a plan to do something illegal or immoral. v.scheme, cabal, collude, connive, conspire, intrigue, machinate, mastermind, plot, contrive.
1. An agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act. 2. A group of conspirators. 3. Law. An agreement between two or more persons to commit a crime or accomplish a legal purpose through illegal action. 4. A joining or acting together, as if by sinister design
A secret agreement or plan to attain a wrongful end : conspiracy, cabal, intrigue, machination, plot, scheme, collusion, connivance, treason, treachery, sedition.
Conspiracy theory n.
A theory seeking to explain a disputed case or matter as a plot by a secret group or alliance rather than an individual or isolated act.
The systematic propagation of a doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests of those people advocating such a doctrine or cause. 2. Material disseminated by the advocates of a doctrine or cause: the selected truths, exaggerations, and lies of wartime propaganda.