Definition of cabinet noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈkæbɪnət//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkæbɪnət//
    jump to other results
  1. 1  (also the Cabinet) [countable + singular or plural verb] a group of chosen members of a government, which is responsible for advising and deciding on government policy a cabinet meeting (British English) a cabinet minister (British English) the shadow Cabinet (= the most important members of the opposition party) Wordfindercabinet, checks and balances, constitution, federal, government, minister, the Opposition, parliament, politics, system Culturethe CabinetIn Britain, the Cabinet is a committee responsible for deciding government policy and for coordinating the work of government departments. It consists of about 20 ministers chosen by the Prime Minister and meets for a few hours each week at Downing Street. Its members are bound by oath (= have sworn) not to talk about the meetings. Reports are sent to government departments but these give only summaries of the topics discussed and decisions taken. They do not mention who agreed or disagreed. The principle of collective responsibility means that the Cabinet acts unanimously (= all together), even if some ministers do not agree. When a policy has been decided, each minister is expected to support it publicly or resign. In recent years, prime ministers have changed the members of their Cabinet quite often in Cabinet reshuffles. Some members are dropped, new ones are brought in, and the rest are given new departmental responsibilities.The leader of the main opposition party forms a shadow cabinet of shadow ministers, each with a particular area of responsibility, so that there is a team ready to take over immediately if the party in power should be defeated.Committees are appointed by the Cabinet to examine issues in more detail than the Cabinet has time for. Members of these committees are not necessarily politicians. The Cabinet Office led by the Secretary to the Cabinet, the most senior civil servant in Britain, prepares agendas for Cabinet meetings and committees.In the US the Cabinet consists of the heads of the 15 departments that make up the executive branch of the federal government. Each president appoints the department heads, called secretaries, from his or her own party, and they give advice on policy. Since the Cabinet was not established by the Constitution, the President can add, remove or combine departments, and can decide when to ask the Cabinet for advice, and whether or not to follow it.State governments are usually organized in a similar way to the national government, and most have a cabinet.
  2. 2   [countable] a piece of furniture with doors, drawers and/or shelves, that is used for storing or showing things kitchen cabinets a medicine cabinet The china was displayed in a glass cabinet. see also filing cabinet See related entries: Furniture
  3. Word Originmid 16th cent.: from cabin + -et, influenced by French cabinet.Extra examples Past reports are kept in the filing cabinet in my office. The Prime Minister reshuffled= changed his Cabinet yesterday. The affair led to a mid-term Cabinet reshuffle. The defeat in the vote forced the Cabinet to change its policy on immigration. The inner Cabinet is to meet again today. The prime minister reshuffled his Cabinet yesterday. There was a meeting of the full Cabinet this afternoon. a glass china cabinet He is a member of the Shadow Cabinet. Several cabinet ministers have been implicated in the scandal. She lost her position as Health Minister in a recent cabinet reshuffle. The issue was discussed at yesterday’s cabinet meeting. There’s a medicine cabinet in the bathroom.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cabinet