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or kab·ba·la or ka·ba·la also ca·ba·la or qa·ba·la or qa·ba·lah  (kăb′ə-lə, kə-bä′lə)
1. often Kabbalah A body of mystical teachings of rabbinical origin, often based on an esoteric interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
2. A secret doctrine resembling these teachings.

[Medieval Latin cabala, from Hebrew qabbālâ, received doctrine, tradition, from qibbēl, to receive; see qbl in Semitic roots.]

kab′ba·lism n.
kab′ba·list n.
Usage Note: There are no less than two dozen variant spellings of kabbalah, the most common of which include kabbalah, kabala, kabalah, qabalah, qabala, cabala, cabbala, kaballah, kabbala, kaballah, and qabbalah. This sort of confusion is frequently seen with Hebrew and Arabic words borrowed into English because there exist several different systems of romanizing the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets. Often a more exact or scholarly transliteration, such as Qur'an, will coexist alongside a spelling that has been heavily Anglicized (Koran). The fact that the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets do not as a rule indicate short vowels or the doubling of consonants compounds the difficulties. Spellings of kabbalah with one or two b's are equally "correct," insofar as the single b accurately reproduces the spelling of the Hebrew, while the double b represents that it was once pronounced with a double b.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(kəˈbɑːlə) ,










1. (Judaism) an ancient Jewish mystical tradition based on an esoteric interpretation of the Old Testament
2. any secret or occult doctrine or science
[C16: from Medieval Latin, from Hebrew qabbālāh tradition, what is received, from qābal to receive]
kabbalism, kabalism, cabbalism, cabalism, qabalism n
ˈkabbalist, ˈkabalist, ˈcabbalist, ˈcabalist, ˈqabalist n
ˌkabbaˈlistic, ˌkabaˈlistic, ˌcabbaˈlistic, ˌcabaˈlistic, ˌqabaˈlistic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.kabbalah - an esoteric or occult matter resembling the Kabbalah that is traditionally secret
arcanum, secret - information known only to a special group; "the secret of Cajun cooking"
2.Kabbalah - an esoteric theosophy of rabbinical origin based on the Hebrew scriptures and developed between the 7th and 18th centuries
theosophy - a system of belief based on mystical insight into the nature of God and the soul
Judaism - the monotheistic religion of the Jews having its spiritual and ethical principles embodied chiefly in the Torah and in the Talmud
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
He remembered, moreover, that he was in the house of a Jew, a people who, besides the other unamiable qualities which popular report ascribed to them, were supposed to be profound necromancers and cabalists. Nevertheless, after a moment's pause, he obeyed the beckoning summons of the apparition, and followed her into the apartment which she indicated, where he found to his joyful surprise that his fair guide was the beautiful Jewess whom he had seen at the tournament, and a short time in her father's apartment.
It's too easy to get spells that weren't already in your deck with Cabalists Tome and Primordial Glyph.
The enigmatic hieroglyphs of cabalists, Rosicrucians, and freemasons are shown to be closely linked with the early scientific illustrations in the fields of medicine, chemistry, optics, and color theory.
In Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay (one of several magus plays in the Admiral's repertoire), the sorcerer Vandermast invokes Pythagoras alongside Hermes Trismegistus and Melchie, as "cabalists that write of magic spells." (28) This not only associates Pythagoras with occult magic but also with Jewish Kabbalah (of which more later).
Nevertheless, hermetic interpretation survives until later, in the Middle Ages, among alchemists, cabalists and neoplatonists (2, 1.
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty Andrew Bolton (Yale: pounds 30) There are some men upon whom, as they go about their careers, you seem to see the mark which the old cabalists spoke of, when they described such human beings as "under the influence of the moon".
We encounter all manner of conspiratorial thinking herein: the refusal to believe that extraordinary people die in ordinary ways; the interpretation of evidence against the theory as evidence for the cunning of the cabalists; the idea that "there is no such thing as an honest casus belli"; and the desire to see complicated events conform to neat patterns.
whatever the Cabalists may say to the contrary, I will venture to affirm that the Great Society was understood neither by Peregrinus, nor Cornelius Agrippa, nor Celsus, nor Jamblicus, nor Porphyry, nor Don Calmet, nor Raymond Lully, nor even the divine Aureolus-Theophrastus-Bombastus-Paracelsus....
He presents, as evidence of this convergence, two Cabalists of the era, Yohanan Alemanno and Abraham Yagel, who appear to see relationships between the golem and other non-Jewish artificial humanoids.
In a brilliant exhaustive and groundbreaking study Booth who is publishing director at Century and has taught philosophy and theology at Oriel College Oxford gathers the insights of so-called secret societies such as the Freemansons the Rosicrucians the Knights Templars the alchemists and the Cabalists into the mysteries surrounding the creation of the world and humanity the forces of good and evil and the end of time.
Gunnar, poet of the best-selling book Watermelanin, has "the ear of academics, the street denizens, and political cabalists." His universal appeal to various groups positions him as "leader of the Black Community" because "there is no better job fit." Although Gunnar's self-description "as a poet, and thus expert in the ways of soulful coercion" makes him "eminently qualified" for the race man position, his mocking of that position is telling (1).
An imaginary being, supposed by the cabalists, to inhabit the inner parts of the earth, and to be the guardians of mines, quarries, &c.