cabinet

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cabinet

cabinet, group of advisers to the head of the state who themselves are usually the heads of the administrative government departments. The nature of the cabinet differs widely in various countries. In Great Britain, where the cabinet system originated, it was at first a committee of the privy council and rose to its modern status only after the sovereignty of Parliament had been established by the Glorious Revolution of 1688 and the gradual emergence of party government in the 18th cent. The British cabinet is a body of ministers drawn from the party that possesses a majority in the House of Commons; it is responsible to the Commons for the conduct of the administration. The cabinet is chosen by the prime minister, who is guided by the necessity of choosing a group that will represent the disparate elements in his party. The defeat in the Commons of an important ministerial measure or a general election adverse to the government results in the fall of the cabinet. In continental European countries, where the two-party system is not the rule, the coalition cabinet is more common. Cabinet members need not be selected from the majority party nor necessarily from the legislature, and they may speak in either house of the legislature.

The U.S. cabinet was not specifically established by the Constitution; it evolved through custom and is now defined by statute law. The members of the cabinet are not members of either house of Congress and are responsible, individually and not as a body, to the president, who appoints them with the approval of the Senate and may remove them at will. The cabinet member may not address Congress but may be called as a witness before congressional committees. As an advisory body, the U.S. cabinet is generally a weak institution and is often overshadowed by a strong president and his staff. The first cabinet appointments (1789) were the secretaries of State, the Treasury, and War. Since then the size and composition of the cabinet has varied considerably. Presently the 15 executive departments whose heads sit in the cabinet are the departments of State; the Treasury; Defense; Justice; the Interior; Agriculture; Commerce; Labor; Health and Human Services; Housing and Urban Development; Transportation; Energy; Education; Veterans Affairs; and Homeland Security.

Bibliography

See J. E. Cohen, The Politics of the U.S. Cabinet (1988).

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Cabinet

A built-in or freestanding piece of furniture fitted with drawers and/or shelves, typically behind one or a pair of doors.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
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Bill Grant, director of the Findhorn Community in 1999. Courtesy Fortean Picture Library.

Cabinet

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

The enclosed space in which a Spiritualist medium works is known as the cabinet. This can be anything from a carefully constructed wooden structure (as was used by the Davenport Brothers) to a simple curtained-off corner of a room. Most mediums favor the latter. According to mediums, the cabinet is necessary in order to condense the psychic energy needed for séance room manifestations. Hereward Carrington compared it to a battery cell that could be charged. The medium usually sits outside the cabinet, though some few do sit inside. The curtains may be dark or light in color; it seems to make no difference.

Some mediums, such as William Stainton Moses, and Daniel Dunglas Home, never used a cabinet. Eusapia Paladino was typical of those who, although they had a cabinet, sat outside it; about twelve inches away from the material of the cabinet. Materializations—such as a hand—emerged from the cabinet behind her. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle described the medium Eva C. using a cabinet that was “a small space shut in by curtains at the back and sides and top, but open in front.”

When Harry Houdini was investigating the medium Mina Crandon, he designed a special cabinet in which she could sit with only her head and hands visible. The second time this cabinet was used, Mina Crandon’s spirit guide, Walter, accused Houdini of placing incriminating evidence inside the cabinet, to be discovered after the séance. This was found to be a folding ruler. Houdini denied the charge and in turn accused Mina of planning to use the ruler to manipulate a small box. After Houdini’s death in 1926, an assistant of his confessed that he had placed the ruler there, on Houdini’s instructions.

The Davenport Brothers had a special cabinet made with three doors at the front and a bench inside, running the full length of the cabinet. The center door had a small diamond-shaped opening covered by a curtain, through which various phenomena could manifest. The Davenport Brothers performed at theaters and would allow audience members to examine the cabinet before the start of their performance. They would then sit astride the bench, facing one another, where they were securely tied so that they could not move. Within seconds of the doors being closed, rappings, musical sounds, and a wide variety of phenomena occurred. At the end of the show they were discovered still tightly bound.

Sources:

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The History of Spiritualism. New York: Doran, 1926
Shepard, Leslie A: Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology. New York: Avon Books, 1978
Stemman, Roy: The Supernatural: Spirits and Spirit Worlds. London: Aldus, 1975
The Spirit Book © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cabinet

 

the official designation for the government in several foreign countries, including Great Britain, India, Zambia, Kenya, the United States, Tanzania, and Japan. It is headed by either a prime minister (Great Britain, India, and Japan) or a head of state, such as a president (USA, Zambia, Kenya, and Tanzania). In some countries, such as Great Britain and India, the cabinet does not include every member of the government; it consists only of the prime minister and the ministers heading the most important governmental offices (for example, the ministers of defense, foreign affairs, finance, and domestic affairs).

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

cabinet

1.A private room for study or conference.
2. A suite of rooms for exhibiting scientific and artistic curiosities.
3. A case or box-like assembly consisting of shelves, doors, and drawers and primarily used for storage.
4. An enclosure having a front hinged door or doors, for housing of electrical devices or conductor connections.
5. In French Vernacular architecture of Louisiana, one of two areas at the rear corners of a typical house; one was used for sleeping or storage, and the other used to house a stairwell.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cabinet

a. the executive and policy-making body of a country, consisting of all government ministers or just the senior ministers
b. an advisory council to a president, sovereign, governor, etc.
c. (as modifier): a cabinet reshuffle
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

CAB file

(CABinet file) A file format from Microsoft used to hold compressed program files on its distribution disks and downloads. CAB files often remain in storage after a Windows update, but they can be safely deleted.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
'Moreover, not a single Cabinet ministers had asked Najib to leave the Cabinet meeting either during or before the memorandum was being discussed,' she said in her testimony.
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The Cabinet meeting adopted a bill on the promotion of start-ups and a draft decree approving the final reports of the committee for the recognition and delimitation of lands in the state private domain of the governorate of Kef, (delegations of West Kef and Dahmani).
Australia, meanwhile, is continuing its long-term policy of not allowing communication devices in cabinet meetings. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is known to be fond of technology and has been caught checking his Apple Watch in the Chamber of the House of Representatives.
A spokesman for the Welsh Conservatives said: "Our plans would not only include holding cabinet meetings around Wales, but Welsh Conservatives would also introduce ministers for North and Mid and West Wales."
"By chairing the latest Cabinet meeting, Erdoy-an has practically taken hold of the government completely.
On July 30, the Hooda Cabinet meeting decided to revise the prize money for the Commonwealth medal winners, exempt 30- day service break to regularise the group B, C and D employees, set up Kesh Kala and Kaushal Vikas Board and extend free leave benefits to the temporary women employees.
Independent journalists who always covered the cabinet meetings said they were told to disperse after the meeting was reportedly cancelled.
Normally, cabinet meetings are held at the Civic Offices, in Barry.