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cause

[kawz] /kɔz/
noun
1.
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?
2.
the reason or motive for some human action:
The good news was a cause for rejoicing.
3.
good or sufficient reason:
to complain without cause; to be dismissed for cause.
4.
Law.
  1. a ground of legal action; the matter over which a person goes to law.
  2. a case for judicial decision.
5.
any subject of discussion or debate.
6.
a principle, ideal, goal, or movement to which a person or group is dedicated:
the Socialist cause; the human rights cause.
7.
the welfare of a person or group, seen as a subject of concern:
support for the cause of the American Indian.
8.
Philosophy.
  1. the end or purpose for which a thing is done or produced.
  2. 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, causing.
9.
to be the cause of; bring about.
Idioms
10.
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
1175-1225
1175-1225; Middle English < Latin causa reason, sake, case
Related forms
causable, adjective
causability, noun
causeless, adjective
causelessly, adverb
causelessness, noun
causer, noun
noncausable, adjective
self-caused, adjective
subcause, noun
uncausable, adjective
undercause, noun
Can be confused
casualty, causality, causation, cause (see synonym study at the current entry)
Synonyms
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. 9. effect, make, create, produce.

'cause

[kawz, kuhz, unstressed kuh z] /kɔz, kʌz, unstressed kəz/
conjunction, Informal.
1.
Origin
1400-50; late Middle English; aphetic variant
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for cause
  • Nothing slows down a cook more or is more likely to cause injury than dull knives.
  • Even though many nets are now equipped with devices to release the dolphins, the stress of capture alone may cause injury.
  • We offer them here, along with tips and shortcuts, in the cause of making artisans of us all.
  • If placed too closely, mulch can retain moisture and cause plants and trees to rot.
  • Giving plants too much water, especially in clay soils, can cause as many problems as supplying too little.
  • The damage it could cause our inner-office relationship would be irreconcilable.
  • In tropical climates trematodes cause schistosomiasis, a disease that kills millions of people.
  • The only way to fight acid rain is by curbing the release of the pollutants that cause it.
  • In some places a tsunami may cause the sea to rise vertically only a few inches or feet.
  • Inhaling these particulates can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat.
British Dictionary definitions for cause

cause

/kɔːz/
noun
1.
a person, thing, event, state, or action that produces an effect
2.
grounds for action; motive; justification: she had good cause to shout like that
3.
the ideals, etc, of a group or movement: the Communist cause
4.
the welfare or interests of a person or group in a dispute: they fought for the miners' cause
5.
a matter of widespread concern or importance: the cause of public health
6.
  1. a ground for legal action; matter giving rise to a lawsuit
  2. the lawsuit itself
7.
(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)
8.
make common cause with, to join with (a person, group, etc) for a common objective
verb
9.
(transitive) to be the cause of; bring about; precipitate; be the reason for
Derived Forms
causable, adjective
causability, noun
causeless, adjective
causer, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for cause
n.

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.

v.

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with cause
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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