Cabinet vs Cupboard what difference

what is difference between Cabinet and Cupboard



From cabin +‎ -et, influenced by French cabinet.
In sense of “a government group”, compare salon, also named for a room used to gather.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkæ.bɪ.nɪt/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkæ.bɪ.nɪt/, /ˈkæb.nɪt/
    • (weak vowel merger) IPA(key): /ˈkæ.bə.nət/, /ˈkæb.nət/


cabinet (plural cabinets)

  1. A storage closet either separate from, or built into, a wall.
  2. A cupboard.
  3. The upright assembly that houses a coin-operated arcade game, a cab.
  4. (historical) A size of photograph, specifically one measuring 3⅞” by 5½”.
    • 1891, Arthur Conan Doyle, A Scandal In Bohemia, Norton (2005), p. 19,
      Holmes took a note of it. “One other question,” said he. “Was the photograph a cabinet?”
  5. A group of advisors to a government or business entity.
  6. (politics, often capitalized) In parliamentary and some other systems of government, the group of ministers responsible for creating government policy and for overseeing the departments comprising the executive branch.
    1. (Kentucky) A cabinet-level agency in the executive branch; that is, an agency headed by a member of the governor’s cabinet.
  7. (archaic) A small chamber or private room.
    • 1856-1858, William H. Prescott, History of the Reign of Philip II
      Philip passed some hours every day in his father’s cabinet.
  8. (often capitalized) A collection of art or ethnographic objects.
  9. (dialectal, Rhode Island) Milkshake.
    • 2012, Linda Beaulieu, Providence & Rhode Island Cookbook: Big Recipes from the Smallest State, p. 268:
      One of Rhode Island’s most famous beverages is the Awful Awful, an enormous 32-ounce, rich, creamy milk shake sold at the Newport Creamery stores, a soda fountain and casual restaurant chain. This ultra-thick cabinet is “awful big and awful good,” thus the name.
  10. (obsolete) A hut; a cottage; a small house.
    • Hearken a while from thy green cabinet, / The rural song of careful Colinet.
  11. An enclosure for mechanical or electrical equipment.


  • (cabinet-level agency in the executive branch): cabinet agency, cabinet department, program cabinet (rare), superagency (California)

Derived terms

  • cabinet agency
  • cabinet department
  • kitchen cabinet
  • program cabinet
  • war cabinet


See also

  • animal cabinet
  • armoire
  • salon


  • bacinet



From cabine +‎ -et.


  • IPA(key): /ɛ/


cabinet m (plural cabinets)

  1. (archaic) a study
  2. an office, a surgery
  3. a cabinet
  4. a cabinet of government advisors
  5. (in the plural) the toilet, lavatory

Derived terms

  • cabinet médical
  • chef de cabinet


  • Dutch: kabinet
    • Indonesian: kabinet
  • English: cabinet
  • Georgian: კაბინეტი (ḳabineṭi)
  • German: Kabinett
    • Hungarian: kabinet
    • Russian: кабине́т (kabinét)
      • Ukrainian: кабіне́т (kabinét)
  • Persian: کابینه(kâbine)
    • Hindi: काबीना (kābīnā)
    • Urdu: کابینہ(kábína)

Further reading

  • “cabinet” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).



From French cabinet.


cabinet n (plural cabinete)

  1. cabinet



Alternative forms

  • (all obsolete): cobbarde, cobbourd, coberde, cobord, copbord, copborde, copbourd, copbourde, copburd, copburde, couborde, cowbard, cubbard, cubbarde, cubberd, cubbert, cubboard, cubboorde, cubbord, cubborde, cupbert, cupbard, cupboarde, cupboord, cupbord, cupborde, cupbourd, cupbourde, cupburd, cupburde, cuppord, cupporde


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈkʌbəd/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /ˈkʌbɚd/
  • Rhymes: -ʌbə(ɹ)d
  • Hyphenation: cup‧board

Etymology 1

From Middle English cuppeborde, cupbord. Equivalent to cup +‎ board. Phonetic variants show that the /p/ in the original forms had assimilated to the present-day /b/ by the 16th century; the etymological spelling has, however, dominated from the 18th century.


cupboard (plural cupboards)

  1. (obsolete) A board or table used to openly hold and display silver plate and other dishware; a sideboard; a buffet. [14th–18th c.]
  2. (obsolete) Things displayed on a sideboard; dishware, particularly valuable plate. [16th–19th c.]
    • a. 1529, John Skelton, Why Come Ye Nat to Courte?; published in John Skelton; Alexander Dyce, The Poetical Works of John Skelton: With Notes, and Some Account of the Author and His Writings, by the Rev. Alexander Dyce. In Two Volumes., volume II, London: Thomas Rodd, Great Newport Street, 1843, OCLC 733571702, page 54, lines 897–904:
      But howe comme to pas, / Your cupbord that was / Is tourned to glasse, / From syluere to brasse, / From golde to pewter, / Or els to a newter, / To copper, to tyn, / To lede, or alcumyn?
  3. A cabinet, closet, or other piece of furniture with shelves intended for storing cookware, dishware, or food; similar cabinets or closets used for storing other items.
  4. (obsolete) Things stored in a cupboard; particularly food.
    • c. 1665, Roxburghe Ballads; published as J[oseph] W[oodfall] Ebsworth, editor, The Roxburghe Ballads: Illustrating the Last Years of the Stuarts, volume VI, Hertford: Printed for the Ballad Society by S. Austin and Sons, 1871–1899, OCLC 13767296, page 529, lines 26–30:
      Some men they [make] love for what they can get, / And ’tis certain there’s many a Lubbard; / Will sigh and will pant, seeming ready to faint, / And all for the love of the cubbard, brave boys! / And all [for the love of the Cup-board].
  • (furniture used to display tableware): see sideboard
  • (kitchen or dining-room closet): see pantry, larder
  • (storage built into a wall): see closet
  • (storage built onto a wall): see cabinet
  • (furniture used for general storage): press (Irish & Scots), wardrobe (British), closet (regional US)
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From cupboard (noun).


cupboard (third-person singular simple present cupboards, present participle cupboarding, simple past and past participle cupboarded)

  1. To collect, as into a cupboard; to hoard. [from 16th century.]


  • Oxford English Dictionary, 1st ed. “cupboard, n.” and “cupboard, v.” Oxford University Press (Oxford), 1893.

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