common cause

Idioms & Phrases

common cause

A joint interest, as in "The common cause against the enemies of piety" (from John Dryden's poem, Religio laici, or a Layman's Faith, 1682). This term originated as to make common cause (with), meaning "to unite one's interest with another's." In the mid-1900s the name Common Cause was adopted by a liberal lobbying group.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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