- 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 causes
The vaccine is delivered through a “carrier virus” that causes a common cold in chimpanzees but does not affect humans.
Then, Rogen convinces Franco to drink some contaminated water from a stream—which causes the 127 Hours Oscar nominee to dry-heave.James Franco and Seth Rogen Get ‘Naked and Afraid’… And It’s Hilarious|Marlow Stern|December 8, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Beat the Blahs What causes this wintertime down-in-the-dumps attitude?
The term “plus-size” causes anger because the distinction inherently shames the woman concerned—and it gets worse.
Republican political operatives say the gains the GOP is set to make are due to a convergence of causes.
Whatever his causes of complaint, they were of too delicate and secret a nature for seconds, bullets, and newspaper paragraphs!Alice, or The Mysteries, Complete|Edward Bulwer-Lytton
The war, and perhaps other causes, have very seriously reduced our supply of meats, the waste of which cannot soon be repaired.
In poisonous doses it depresses the circulation and the nerves generally, but it causes no stupor or insensibility.The Action of Medicines in the System|Frederick William Headland
The combination of these causes led to one of the most remarkable rises in price ever known.Mammon and Co.|E. F. Benson
The brilliant sun of the tropics, burning mercilessly through the rarefied air, causes the scant vegetation to wither.Inca Land|Hiram Bingham
- 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