[bih-kawz, -koz, -kuhz]
for the reason that; due to the fact that: The boy was absent because he was ill.
because of, by reason of; due to: Schools were closed because of heavy snowfall.

1275–1325; Middle English bi cause by cause

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. 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.

1. See reason. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
because (bɪˈkɒz, -ˈkəz)
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

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, bi cause "by cause," modeled on Fr. par cause. Originally a phrase, often followed by a subordinate clause introduced by that or why. One word from c.1400.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Some traditional childhood games are disappearing from school playgrounds
  because educators say they're dangerous.
She is visiting the doctor because of several symptoms.
Blogging is no longer what it was, because it has entered the mainstream.
Biff won that fight simply because there was no fight.
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