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because

[bih-kawz, -koz, -kuhz] /bɪˈkɔz, -ˈkɒz, -ˈkʌz/
conjunction
1.
for the reason that; due to the fact that:
The boy was absent because he was ill.
preposition
2.
Informal. (used directly before a noun, adjective, verb, interjection, etc., to convey a very concise rationale, excuse, or explanation): We’re a little like monkeys because evolution. He doesn’t practice enough: because lazy.
I love doughnuts because yum!
Idioms
3.
because of, by reason of; due to:
Schools were closed because of heavy snowfall.
Origin
1275-1325
1275-1325; Middle English bi cause by cause
Synonyms
1. Because, as, since, for, inasmuch as agree in implying a reason for an occurrence or action. Because introduces a direct reason: I was sleeping because I was tired. As and since are so casual as to imply merely circumstances attendant on the main statement: As (or since ) I was tired, I was sleeping. The reason, proof, or justification introduced by for is like an afterthought or a parenthetical statement: I was sleeping, for I was tired. The more formal inasmuch as implies concession; the main statement is true in view of the circumstances introduced by this conjunction: Inasmuch as I was tired, it seemed best to sleep.
Usage note
1. See reason.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for be cause

because

/bɪˈkɒz; -ˈkəz/
conjunction
1.
(subordinating) on account of the fact that; on account of being; since: because it's so cold we'll go home
2.
(preposition) because of, on account of: I lost my job because of her
Word Origin
C14 bi cause, from biby + cause
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
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Word Origin and History for be cause

because

conj.

c.1300, bi cause "by cause," modeled on French par cause. Originally a phrase, often followed by a subordinate clause introduced by that or why. One word from c.1400. As an adverb from late 14c. Clipped form cause attested in writing by mid-15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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