- 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.
- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for cause on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for causing
“This is a federal mandate that is causing some real problems for schools across the country,” Kline told a CBS affiliate in July.The Republican War on Kale
January 7, 2015
After a few moments, four officers exited the vehicle, causing the man to turn and walk away quickly.Arabs Are the Michael Browns of Israel
December 3, 2014
Another common prank was to spin the cannon in the direction of the major, causing him to leap out of the way.Stonewall Jackson, VMI’s Most Embattled Professor
S. C. Gwynne
November 29, 2014
The federal bench will be harmed by dozens of vacancies going unfilled, causing a case backlog.If You Think D.C. Is Awful Now, Wait Until Wednesday
November 4, 2014
Just as there are real rules why global climate disruption is likely causing more floods than usual.Liberian Pastors Blame Ebola on Gays, The Right Blames Obama
October 27, 2014
We speak of "causing" laughter, which we can do; but we cannot give it away.Pax Vobiscum
Both of them have made a botch of their errand,” said he, “and are causing the bride to wait in vain!The Chinese Fairy Book
Fists often pounded on the bar, causing the glasses to clink.L'Assommoir
All the good he heard said of his victim ended by causing him poignant anxiety.Therese Raquin
I can see that you are anxious to know what is causing it, but I'm not ready to tell just yet.Poisoned Air
Sterner St. Paul Meek
- a person, thing, event, state, or action that produces an effect
- grounds for action; motive; justificationshe had good cause to shout like that
- the ideals, etc, of a group or movementthe Communist cause
- the welfare or interests of a person or group in a disputethey fought for the miners' cause
- a matter of widespread concern or importancethe 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
Word Origin and History for causing
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.