- a ground of legal action; the matter over which a person goes to law.
- a case for judicial decision.
- 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).
verb (used with object), caused, caus·ing.
- cause a commotion,
- cause célèbre,
- cause list,
- cause raised eyebrows,
Origin of cause
Examples from the Web for causeless
I can support his harshness to me with patience; but it wounds my soul when I am witness to his causeless severity towards her.Shorter Novels, Eighteenth Century|Samuel Johnson
She had often shuddered as she watched it, indulging herself in the luxury of causeless trepidation.The Vicar of Bullhampton|Anthony Trollope
Still the day was not wholly lost to the South, had her men not given way to causeless panic.Four Years in Rebel Capitals|T. C. DeLeon
My heart rises against thee, O thou cruel implement of my brother's causeless vengeance.Clarissa, Volume 6 (of 9)|Samuel Richardson
They say miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons to make modern and familiar things supernatural and causeless.Oxford Lectures on Poetry|Andrew Cecil Bradley
- a ground for legal action; matter giving rise to a lawsuit
- the lawsuit itself
Word Origin for cause
late 14c., "produce an effect," also "impel, compel," from Old French causer "to cause" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin causare, from Latin causa "a cause; a reason; interest; judicial process, lawsuit," of unknown origin. Related: Caused; causing. Classical Latin causari meant "to plead, to debate a question."
c.1200, "reason for action, grounds for action; motive," from Old French cause "cause, reason; lawsuit, case in law" (12c.), and directly from Latin causa "a cause; a reason; interest; judicial process, lawsuit," of unknown origin.
In English, sense of "matter of concern; side taken in controversy" is from c.1300; that of "the source of an effect" is early 14c.; meaning "reason for something taking place" is late 14c. Cause célèbre "celebrated legal case" is 1763, from French. Cause why? "for what reason?" is in Chaucer.
In addition to the idioms beginning with cause
- cause a commotion
- cause raised eyebrows
- lost cause