The Nuttall Encyclopedia
A secret science alleged to have been divinely imparted to Moses and preserved by tradition, by means of which the Rabbis affected to interpret the pretended mystic sense of the words, letters, and very accents of the Hebrew Scriptures, a science which really owes its existence to a dissatisfaction in the rabbinical mind with the traditional literal interpretation, and a sense that there is more in Scripture than meets the ear. The name comes from a Hebrew word suggesting "to receive," and denotes "that which is received" or tradition.
Wood, James, ed. Entry for 'Cab`ala'. The Nuttall Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/nut/c/cabala.html. Frederick Warne & Co Ltd. London. 1900.