[bih-kawz, -koz, -kuhz]
- for the reason that; due to the fact that: The boy was absent because he was ill.
- Informal. (used directly before a noun, adjective, verb, interjection, etc., to convey a very concise rationale, excuse, or explanation): We’re a little like monkeys because evolution. He doesn’t practice enough: because lazy. I love doughnuts because yum!
- because of, by reason of; due to: Schools were closed because of heavy snowfall.
Origin of because
1. Because, as, since, for, inasmuch as agree in implying a reason for an occurrence or action. Because introduces a direct reason: I was sleeping because I was tired. As and since are so casual as to imply merely circumstances attendant on the main statement: As (or since ) I was tired, I was sleeping. The reason, proof, or justification introduced by for is like an afterthought or a parenthetical statement: I was sleeping, for I was tired. The more formal inasmuch as implies concession; the main statement is true in view of the circumstances introduced by this conjunction: Inasmuch as I was tired, it seemed best to sleep.
1. See reason.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- (subordinating) on account of the fact that; on account of being; sincebecause it's so cold we'll go home
- because of (preposition) on account ofI lost my job because of her
Word Origin for because
C14 bi cause, from bi by + cause
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
c.1300, bi cause "by cause," modeled on French par cause. Originally a phrase, often followed by a subordinate clause introduced by that or why. One word from c.1400. As an adverb from late 14c. Clipped form cause attested in writing by mid-15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper