A conspiratorial group of plotters or intriguers: "Espionage is quite precisely it—a cabal of powerful men, working secretly” ( Frank Conroy).
A secret scheme or plot.
To form a cabal; conspire.
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.