[ kawz ]
/ kɔz /


verb (used with object), caused, caus·ing.

to be the cause of; bring about.

Nearby words

  1. causally,
  2. causation,
  3. causationism,
  4. causative,
  5. causatively,
  6. cause a commotion,
  7. cause célèbre,
  8. cause list,
  9. cause raised eyebrows,
  10. cause-and-effect


    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.

Origin of cause

1175–1225; Middle English < Latin causa reason, sake, case

Related forms
Can be confusedcausality causation cause

Synonym study

1. Cause, occasion refer to the starting of effects into motion. A cause is an agency, perhaps acting through a long time, or a long-standing situation, that produces an effect: The cause of the quarrel between the two men was jealousy. An occasion is an event that provides an opportunity for the effect to become evident, or perhaps promotes its becoming evident: The occasion was the fact that one man's wages were increased. 3. See reason.


[ kawz, kuhz, unstressed kuh z ]
/ kɔz, kʌz, unstressed kəz /

conjunction Informal.

Origin of 'cause

1400–50; late Middle English; aphetic variant Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cause

British Dictionary definitions for cause


/ (kɔːz) /



(tr) to be the cause of; bring about; precipitate; be the reason for
Derived Formscausable, adjectivecausability, nouncauseless, adjectivecauser, noun

Word Origin for cause

C13: from Latin causa cause, reason, motive

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

Word Origin and History for cause
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with cause


In addition to the idioms beginning with cause

  • cause a commotion
  • cause raised eyebrows

also see:

  • lost cause
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.