or kab·ba·la or ka·ba·la also ca·ba·la or qa·ba·la or qa·ba·lah noun
- often Kabbalah A body of mystical teachings of rabbinical origin, often based on an esoteric interpretation of the Hebrew Scriptures.
- A secret doctrine resembling these teachings.
Origin: Medieval Latin cabala
Origin: , from Hebrew qabbālâ, received doctrine, tradition
Origin: , from qibbēl, to receive; see qbl in Semitic roots
Related Forms: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,
This sort of confusion is frequently seen with Hebrew and Arabic words borrowed into English because there exist several different systems of transliterating the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets into Roman letters. 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 the fact that it was once pronounced with a double b.