a person or thing that acts, happens, or exists in such a way that some specific thing happens as a result; the producer of an effect: You have been the cause of much anxiety. What was the cause of the accident?
the reason or motive for some human action: The good news was a cause for rejoicing.
good or sufficient reason: to complain without cause; to be dismissed for cause.
a ground of legal action; the matter over which a person goes to law.
a case for judicial decision.
any subject of discussion or debate.
a principle, ideal, goal, or movement to which a person or group is dedicated: the Socialist cause; the human rights cause.
the welfare of a person or group, seen as a subject of concern: support for the cause of the American Indian.
the end or purpose for which a thing is done or produced.
Aristotelianism. any of the four things necessary for the movement or the coming into being of a thing, namely a material (material cause ), something to act upon it (efficient cause ), a form taken by the movement or development (formal cause ), and a goal or purpose (final cause ).
to be the cause of; bring about.
Idioms about cause
make common cause, to unite in a joint effort; work together for the same end: They made common cause with neighboring countries and succeeded in reducing tariffs.
- caus·a·ble, adjective
- caus·a·bil·i·ty, noun
- causeless, adjective
- cause·less·ly, adverb
- cause·less·ness, noun
- causer, noun
- non·caus·a·ble, adjective
- self-caused, adjective
- subcause, noun
- un·caus·a·ble, adjective
- un·der·cause, noun
Other definitions for 'cause (2 of 2)
a shortened form of because.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use cause in a sentence
But Cosby Truthers are applying their principles to the wrong cause.
So we know that boring down to the bedrock and pumping it full of fluid can cause earthquakes.26 Earthquakes Later, Fracking’s Smoking Gun Is in Texas | James Joiner | January 7, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
These days weather should never cause a commercial airliner to crash.Annoying Airport Delays Might Prevent You From Becoming the Next AirAsia 8501 | Clive Irving | January 6, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
If Dudesmash were to be something we continued doing, this would be an important year to do it, ‘cause we didn’t do one last year.Deer Tick's John McCauley on Ten Years in Rock and Roll | James Joiner | January 2, 2015 | THE DAILY BEAST
Michelle Obama tweeting a hashtag is somehow cause for outrage.
Whether they had ever, at different times, pleaded for or against the same cause, and cited precedents to prove contrary opinions?Gulliver's Travels | Jonathan Swift
Without any known cause of offence, a tacit acknowledgement of mutual dislike was shewn by Louis and de Patinos.The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4 | Jane Porter
There is cause for alarm when they bring one hundred and ten ships into these seas without any means of resistance on our part.
If we are to have a real education along lines of expression we must begin with the "content," or cause, of expression.Expressive Voice Culture | Jessie Eldridge Southwick
Rapidity of action and a self-confidence which on the battlefield never felt itself beaten were the cause of Murat's success.Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
British Dictionary definitions for cause
a person, thing, event, state, or action that produces an effect
grounds for action; motive; justification: she had good cause to shout like that
the ideals, etc, of a group or movement: the Communist cause
the welfare or interests of a person or group in a dispute: they fought for the miners' cause
a matter of widespread concern or importance: the cause of public health
a ground for legal action; matter giving rise to a lawsuit
the lawsuit itself
(in the philosophy of Aristotle) any of four requirements for a thing's coming to be, namely material (material cause), its nature (formal cause), an agent (efficient cause), and a purpose (final cause)
make common cause with to join with (a person, group, etc) for a common objective
(tr) to be the cause of; bring about; precipitate; be the reason for
- causable, adjective
- causability, noun
- causeless, adjective
- causer, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Other Idioms and Phrases with cause
In addition to the idioms beginning with cause
- cause a commotion
- cause raised eyebrows
- lost cause
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.