Meaning of CAUSE in English



1. to make something happen

2. to make someone do something

3. to make something bad suddenly happen

4. to be the first or basic cause of something

5. to make someone have a particular feeling

6. to cause someone or something to be in a particular situation or condition

7. to deliberately try to cause trouble, arguments etc

8. to be one of the causes of something

9. to believe that something is caused by a particular thing

10. something that makes something else happen


see also





1. to make something happen

▷ make something do something /ˌmeɪk something ˈduː something/ [verb phrase]

▪ I wish you wouldn’t slam the door. It makes the floor shake.

▪ Accidents don’t always just happen - people can make them happen.

▪ Gravity is the force that makes the planets move around the sun.

▷ cause /kɔːz/ [transitive verb]

to make something happen, especially something unpleasant :

▪ Heavy traffic is causing long delays on the roads.

▪ About half of the chemicals that were tested caused cancer in rats.

▪ The autopsy showed that her death was caused by liver failure.

cause somebody trouble/problems/anxiety etc

▪ As children we were always causing our parents trouble.

▪ Try to isolate the problems that are causing you the most difficulty.

cause something to do something

▪ The power failure caused the whole computer system to shut down.

▷ be the cause /biː ðə ˈkɔːz/ [verb phrase]

to be the particular reason for a problem or difficulty :

▪ After a long investigation into the fire, faulty wiring was found to be the cause.

be the cause of

▪ It’s too early to say whether this virus is actually the cause of the disease.

▪ An explosion on board appears to be the cause of the crash.

be the leading/main cause of something

▪ The study showed that drug use is the leading cause of crime and violence.

▷ be responsible /biː rɪˈspɒnsə̇b ə lǁ-ˈspɑːn-/ [verb phrase]

to be the person or thing that causes something bad to happen, for example a mistake, a problem, or a serious accident :

▪ The number of workplace accidents is increasing, but it is not clear who or what is responsible.

be responsible for

▪ Heart disease was responsible for most of the deaths.

▪ He was clearly responsible for the deaths and must be punished.

be largely/mainly responsible for something

▪ Inflation was largely responsible for the economic crisis.

▷ result in something /rɪˈzʌlt ɪn something/ [transitive phrasal verb not in passive]

if an action or event results in something, it makes something happen :

▪ Workers fear that the company’s reorganization will result in layoffs.

▪ Months of secret talks with the rebels finally resulted in the release of the hostages.

▪ If left untreated, the condition will eventually result in blindness.

▷ lead to something /ˈliːd tə something/ [transitive phrasal verb not in passive]

to start a process that finally makes something happen :

▪ His research eventually led to the development of a vaccine.

▪ The new regulations should lead to an improvement in our water supply.

▪ The bank has offered a reward for information leading to the arrest of the robbers.

▷ give rise to /ˌgɪv ˈraɪz tə/ [verb phrase] formal

if a situation, event, or action gives rise to a particular feeling, situation etc, it starts the process that makes it happen :

▪ The canal project gave rise to a malaria epidemic in the region.

▪ The President’s frequent cancellations have given rise to concerns about his health.

▷ bring about /ˌbrɪŋ əˈbaʊt/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to make something happen, especially a change or an improved situation :

bring about something

▪ The President will support any efforts to bring about a ceasefire.

▪ Education is the best method of bringing about economic development.

bring something about

▪ A lot of hard work by ordinary citizens eventually brought the changes about.

▷ create /kriˈeɪt/ [transitive verb]

to make a particular condition that did not exist at all suddenly exist :

▪ The white walls and mirrors helped to create an illusion of space.

▪ Margot’s outburst created an unpleasant atmosphere and most of the guests left early.

▪ The end of the cold war helped create a situation in which more countries than ever have access to nuclear weapons.

creation /kriˈeɪʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

▪ The government’s main economic aim has been the creation of wealth.

▷ make for /ˈmeɪk fɔːʳ/ [transitive phrasal verb]

if something makes for a particular situation, it makes it easier or more likely for that situation to exist :

▪ The stormy weather made for a very bumpy landing.

▪ Delicious food and wonderful company made for a very enjoyable evening.

2. to make someone do something

▷ make somebody do something /ˌmeɪk somebody ˈduː something/ [verb phrase]

▪ Sarah’s very funny. Her jokes always make me laugh.

▪ The things she said make me wonder if she is in some kind of trouble.

▪ The smell was so bad it almost made me throw up.

be made to do something

▪ I was made to wait for over an hour.

▷ cause somebody to do something /ˌkɔːz somebody tə ˈduː something/ [verb phrase]

to make someone or something do something. Cause is more formal than make :

▪ A dog ran into the road, causing the cyclist to swerve.

▪ The parents’ fear of gang activity caused them to move the family to a safer neighborhood.

▪ No-one understands what could have caused her to hate him so much.

▷ lead somebody to do something /ˌliːd somebody tə ˈduː something/ [verb phrase]

to be the thing that makes someone do something, especially when this process takes some time :

▪ What led you to take up teaching as a career?

▪ It was my interest in gardens that led me to study biology.

lead somebody to believe

▪ The negative publicity has already led many to believe that Tompkins is guilty.

▷ motivate /ˈməʊtɪveɪt, ˈməʊtəveɪt/ [transitive verb]

if something motivates someone to do something, it makes them want to do it - use this especially to talk about the reasons why people do things that are very good, very bad, or very dangerous :

motivate somebody to do something

▪ I don’t know what motivates people to commit such crimes.

be motivated by something

▪ He was motivated by a desire to help his fellow man.

▪ Many in the Asian community feel that the police actions were motivated by racial bias.

▷ induce somebody to do something /ɪnˌdjuːs somebody tə ˈduː something ǁɪnˌduːs-/ [verb phrase] formal

to make someone choose to do something :

▪ Whatever induced her to buy such an expensive car?

▪ The state advertises a great deal to induce its citizens to buy lottery tickets.

▷ prompt somebody to do something /ˌprɒmpt somebody tə ˈduː something ǁˌprɑːmpt-/ [verb phrase not usually in progressive]

to be the thing that makes you to do something, especially something you have been thinking of doing for some time :

▪ It was reading his book that prompted me to write to him.

▪ What exactly prompted him to call you in the middle of the night?

3. to make something bad suddenly happen

▷ set off /ˌset ˈɒf/ [transitive phrasal verb]

if someone or something sets off a fight, war etc, it makes it start happening :

set off something

▪ The army’s invasion set off a major international crisis.

set something off

▪ Nobody knows what set the riot off.

▷ trigger/spark /ˈtrɪgəʳ, spɑːʳk/ [transitive verb]

if a small action or event triggers or sparks serious trouble or changes, it causes them to happen very quickly :

▪ Even the smallest diplomatic incident can trigger a major international conflict.

▪ The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand sparked the First World War.

trigger/spark off something

▪ Riots, sparked off by the arrest of seven student leaders, have spread to other universities.

▷ precipitate /prɪˈsɪpəteɪt, prəˈsɪpəteɪt/ [transitive verb] formal

to make something serious happen, especially more quickly than was expected :

▪ The 1929 stock market crash precipitated the collapse of the American banking system.

▪ Both countries claimed the same area, precipitating a border war.

4. to be the first or basic cause of something

▷ be at the root/bottom of /biː ət ðə ˈruːt, ˈbɒtəm ɒv‖ǁ-ˈbɑː-/ [verb phrase]

to be the basic cause of a problem or serious situation :

▪ Simple greed is at the root of most white-collar crime.

▪ At the bottom of the country’s economic problems is its overwhelming debt.

lie at the root/bottom of something

▪ Difficulties with the company’s overseas subsidiaries lie at the root of last year’s losses.

▷ underlying /ˌʌndəʳˈlaɪ-ɪŋ◂/ [adjective only before noun]

underlying cause/reason/factor etc

a cause, reason etc that is one of the most basic and important, but which is not easy to notice :

▪ They were treating only the symptoms of the disease rather than its underlying cause.

▪ Climate and geography are the underlying reasons for the region’s low level of economic development.

5. to make someone have a particular feeling

▷ make /meɪk/ [transitive verb]

to make somebody worried/nervous/happy etc

▪ Stop staring at me - you’re making me nervous.

▪ Money is the only thing that seemed to make him happy.

▪ Standing up all day really makes me tired.

make somebody want to do something

▪ The whole thing was so depressing - it made me want to give up and go home.

▷ have /hæv/ [transitive verb not in passive]

have somebody worried/confused/interested etc

to make someone worried, confused etc, especially only for a short time :

▪ You had me worried for a minute - I thought you weren’t going to show up.

▪ The film was so full of suspense, it had the audience on the edge of their seats.

▷ excite /ɪkˈsaɪt/ [transitive verb not in passive] formal

make people feel interested, jealous etc :

excite interest/jealousy/suspicion etc

▪ Arthur’s enormous wealth excited the envy of his rivals.

▪ Recent fossil finds in Africa have excited interest among palaeontologists.

▷ arouse /əˈraʊz/ [transitive verb] written

to make people have a strong interest in something or strong feelings, such as anger, fear, dislike etc :

arouse anger/suspicion/fear etc

▪ His strange behavior aroused my suspicions.

▪ The resignation of the managing director is certain to arouse new fears about the future of the company.

arouse interest/curiosity

▪ The success of the recent TV series has aroused young people’s curiosity about nature in general.

▷ evoke /ɪˈvəʊk/ [transitive verb] written

to make someone have a particular emotion, thought, or reaction :

▪ She tried everything in an attempt to evoke sympathy and pity from her parents.

▪ Her speech today evoked surprise and outrage from many French officials.

▪ The names Witches Well, Candlemaker Row and Grassmarket Square evoke visions of another era.

▷ generate /ˈdʒenəreɪt/ [transitive verb]

to make something such as a feeling exist and grow :

▪ The murder trial has generated enormous public interest.

▪ Realistic programmes about crime only serve to generate fear among the public.

▪ Completing the project on time and under budget generated a feeling of pride and accomplishment among the team.

▷ whip up /ˌwɪp ˈʌp/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to deliberately make a lot of people feel interested, excited, angry etc about something that you think is important :

whip up something

▪ It’s difficult to whip up people’s interest in the environment.

▪ She’s been giving speeches all over the state to whip up support for her campaign.

whip somebody/something up

▪ Rylan has been accused of whipping crowds up into frenzies of violent hatred.

▷ reduce somebody to /rɪˈdjuːs somebody tuːǁrɪˈduːs-/ [transitive phrasal verb]

reduce somebody to tears/silence/a bag of nerves etc

to treat someone in such an unkind or unfair way, that they cry, are silent etc :

▪ He would often yell at his wife until he had reduced her to tears.

▪ One look from him was enough to reduce anyone to absolute silence.

▪ Her outbursts in the classroom have the effect of reducing her students to gibbering wrecks.

6. to cause someone or something to be in a particular situation or condition

▷ make /meɪk/ [transitive verb]

make somebody late/ill etc

▪ Hurry up - you’re going to make me late for work.

▪ Something I ate last night really made me sick.

make something safe/interesting/dirty etc

▪ He could make things very difficult for us.

▪ Engineers have been working throughout the night to make the bridge safe.

▪ We gave the house a coat of paint to make it more attractive.

make it easy/impossible/necessary etc (for somebody) to do something

▪ The regulations should make it easier for patients to receive the treatment they need.

▪ The increased costs made it impossible to continue producing the computers in the U.S.

▷ have /hæv/ [transitive verb not in passive]

to make something be in a particular condition, especially so that it is ready to be used :

have something ready/organized/prepared etc

▪ We’ll have your car ready by 3 o'clock.

▪ I’m going to have the roof fixed as soon as I can afford it.

▪ My parents had the little train all laid out under the tree on Christmas morning.

▷ render /ˈrendəʳ/ [transitive verb] formal

to make someone or something unable to do something, work properly, cause any damage etc :

render something useless/impossible/harmless etc

▪ Both runways have been rendered useless by enemy bombings.

▪ The angry exchange rendered future compromise impossible.

render somebody unconscious/helpless etc

▪ Suddenly Packer struck a blow that rendered his victim unconscious.

▷ plunge something into /ˈplʌndʒ something ɪntuː/ [verb phrase]

to cause someone or something to suddenly be in a very bad situation :

plunge somebody/something into debt/war/depression etc

▪ The government’s uncontrolled spending has plunged the country into debt.

▪ The growing hostility between the two parties is threatening to plunge the country into civil war.

▷ put somebody in/into something /ˈpʊt somebody ɪn, ɪntə something/ [verb phrase]

put somebody in a difficult/awkward/impossible situation/position

to do something that causes someone difficulties, embarrassment etc :

▪ The minister’s comments have put the prime minister into a very awkward position.

▪ I’m afraid I’ve been put into a rather embarrassing position.

7. to deliberately try to cause trouble, arguments etc

▷ incite /ɪnˈsaɪt/ [transitive verb] formal

to deliberately encourage people to cause trouble, fight, argue etc :

▪ Four men were arrested for inciting the riot.

incite somebody to something

▪ She was charged with inciting the crowd to violence.

incite somebody to do something

▪ Tribal leaders are accused of inciting their followers to attack rival tribes.

incitement [uncountable noun]

▪ By publishing the book they were guilty of incitement to racial hatred.

▷ provoke /prəˈvəʊk/ [transitive verb]

if something provokes an angry situation or a reaction, they cause it, usually deliberately :

▪ The new laws have provoked violent demonstrations in some towns.

▪ The ambassador’s offensive remarks provoked widespread criticism.

provoke somebody to something

▪ The judge ruled that Becker provoked her husband to attack her so she could shoot him.

▷ stir up /ˌstɜːr ˈʌp/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to deliberately try to cause arguments, fighting etc between people :

stir up something

▪ I hope you’re not trying to stir up trouble.

▪ His series of articles on party leaders has stirred up a great deal of public controversy.

stir something up

▪ He was accused of trying to stir rebellion up among the peasants.

8. to be one of the causes of something

▷ play a part /ˌpleɪ ə ˈpɑːʳt/ [verb phrase]

if something plays a part in something, it is one of several things that makes it happen or be successful :

▪ Many cases of breast cancer have genetic causes, but environmental substances may also play a part.

play a part in

▪ It is not yet known if weather conditions played a part in the accident.

▪ The genius of the two designers has played a big part in the company’s recent success.

▷ contribute to /kənˈtrɪbjuːt tuːǁ-bjət-/ [transitive phrasal verb not in passive]

if something contributes to a situation or event, it is one of the things that make it happen :

▪ An increase in the price of drugs has contributed to the rising cost of medical care.

▪ It is thought that the pilot’s negligence may have contributed to the disaster.

▷ contributory /kənˈtrɪbjɑt ə riǁ-tɔːri/ [adjective only before noun] formal

contributory cause/factor

one of several causes of something that happens, but not the main cause :

▪ Malnutrition was considered to have been a contributory cause of death.

▪ Alcohol is a contributory factor in at least 50% of the violent crimes reported.

9. to believe that something is caused by a particular thing

▷ put something down to /ˌpʊt something ˈdaʊn tuː/ [transitive phrasal verb]

to explain a situation, event, or behaviour by saying that it is the result of something else :

▪ Charlie’s been drinking a lot lately, which I put down to stress at work.

▪ Authorities put the acts of vandalism down to ‘festive high spirits’ after the team’s victory.

▪ Her restlessness was put down to excitement, and nobody realised she was seriously ill.

▷ attribute something to /əˈtrɪbjuːt something tuː ǁ-bjət-/ [transitive phrasal verb] formal

to explain a situation or fact by saying that it is the result of something else :

▪ Over 1,000 deaths a year can be attributed to drunk driving.

▪ The low crop yields are attributed to changes in climate.

▪ The management attributed the success of the company to the new Marketing Director.

10. something that makes something else happen

▷ cause /kɔːz/ [countable noun]

▪ Doctors cannot find a cure for the illness until they have identified the cause.

cause of

▪ Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the accident.

root cause

basic cause

▪ The root cause of the current energy crisis is that we simply use too much energy.

▷ factor /ˈfæktəʳ/ [countable noun]

one of several causes of a situation or condition :

▪ The price of insurance depends on several factors, including the age of the car.

factor in

▪ His girlfriend lives in London and I’m sure that was a factor in his decision to move there.

key factor

very important factor

▪ Money will be the key factor when we decide to buy a new house.

deciding/determining factor

the thing that finally makes something happen

▪ Race should never be a deciding factor in a hiring decision.

▷ reason /ˈriːz ə n/ [countable noun]

the thing or one of the things that makes you decide to do something or makes something happen :

▪ ‘Why are you helping her?’ ‘She asked me to. That’s the only reason.’

▪ The main reason she quit is that she was not being paid enough.

reason for/behind

▪ Can anyone explain the reason for the delay?

▪ There were two reasons behind the company’s failure.

reason why/(that)

▪ The reason why the economy is growing more slowly is a lack of workers.

reason to do something

▪ There’s no reason to doubt what she says.

▷ origins /ˈɒrɪdʒənz, ˈɒrədʒənzǁˈɔː-, ˈɑː-/ [plural noun]

the first causes from which a situation, condition etc has developed :

origins of

▪ The origins of the crisis were very complex.

▪ Other cultures’ beliefs about the origins of disease often differ from our own.

have origins in

▪ Many of our attitudes to the issue of race have their origins in the colonialism of days gone by.

▷ root /ruːt/ [countable noun]

the main or most important cause of a situation or condition :

root of

▪ The roots of the wars in the Balkans go back hundreds of years.

get to the root of something

discover the most important cause

▪ We need to get to the root of the problem.

▷ stimulus /ˈstɪmjɑləs/ [countable/uncountable noun]

an event, action, or situation that helps a process to develop more quickly :

▪ The appointment of a new director gave the project immediate stimulus.

stimulus to

▪ The surge in new housing construction ought to provide a stimulus to the economy.

▷ impetus /ˈɪmpɪtəs, ˈɪmpətəs/ [singular/uncountable noun]

an event, action, or situation that helps something to develop more quickly :

impetus for/behind

▪ The impetus for change in the industry was provided by a new management team.

▪ Press criticism has been the main impetus behind the government reforms.

give impetus to something

▪ The Surgeon General’s speech will give new impetus to the anti-smoking campaign.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .