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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for causing

British Dictionary definitions for causing



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
  1. a ground for legal action; matter giving rise to a lawsuit
  2. 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
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 causing
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with causing


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.