Meaning of CAUSE in English


I. ˈkȯz noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Old French, from Latin causa; perhaps akin to Latin cudere to beat — more at hew


a. : a person, thing, fact, or condition that brings about an effect or that produces or calls forth a resultant action or state

it should be obvious that it is the conditions producing the end effects which must be regarded as the efficient causes of them — M.F.A.Montagu

trying to find the cause of the accident

b. : a reason or motive for an action or condition

a cause for celebrating

cause for regret

c. : a good or adequate reason : a sufficient activating factor

an employee discharged for cause



(1) : a ground of legal action

(2) : a legal process (as a suit or action in court) by which a party endeavors to obtain his claim or what he regards as his right : case

b. : the presupposition or underlying fact of a transaction in civil law


a. : something that occasions or effects a result : the necessary antecedent of an effect : something that determines any motion or change or produces a phenomenon — see efficient cause , final cause , formal cause , material cause ; first cause ; immanent cause , transient cause ; occasional cause

b. : an event or set of events that on the basis of scientific methods and laws has been established as the invariant antecedent or concomitant necessary for the occurrence of another event or set of events — compare : regularity theory

4. : a charge or accusation brought against one

what was thy cause ? adultery? — Shakespeare


a. now dialect : a matter occupying one's attention : concern , affair , pursuit

now to our French causes — Shakespeare

b. obsolete : intent , purpose , end — see final cause

6. : a principle or movement supported militantly or zealously : a belief advocated or upheld

God befriend us, as our cause is just — Shakespeare

the insurgents' cause

he served the cause of truth less devotedly than the cause of party — V.L.Parrington

7. obsolete : disease


reason , determinant , occasion , antecedent : cause indicates a condition or circumstance or combination of conditions and circumstances that effectively and inevitably calls forth an issue, effect, or result or that materially aids in that calling forth

there was more in it than a struggle for wages. The unrest in the towns had deeper causes — G.M.Trevelyan

reason is often interchangeable with cause , but it may add to cause notions of that which explains, clarifies, or justifies or that which suggests a conditioning by human action, consideration, or thought

they admire the rich and titled for the good reason that the rich and titled are themselves — Aldous Huxley

the reason why the distinguished chairman of the committee feels that the conference report should not be debated — Congressional Record

determinant indicates that factor which determines or shapes the nature of an outcome, issue, or result rather than indicating that which calls it forth or causes it

so habituated have most persons become to believing … that moral forces are the ultimate determinants of the rise and fall of all human societies — John Dewey

asserts that the final determinant of the lawyer's thought and activity is now the maxim of the best fee — R.D.Mack

occasion refers to a time or situation at which underlying causes may be manifested or activated or, loosely, to an immediate or ostensible factor

in 1837 Baxley became the occasion, if not the cause, of the temporary disruption of the University of Maryland Medical School — C.R.Bardeen

there exists, not as the occasion of this war but as the cause of a series of wars in which we are engaged, a desire, shared by all peoples, to redefine the concepts of freedom and order — Times Literary Supplement

antecedent refers to that which has preceded or gone before or which may or may not be a cause or determinant of something following

it is certainly true that these twelfth-century windows break the French tradition. They had no antecedent and no fit succession — Henry Adams

the antecedents of emperor worship lay far back in history — John Buchan

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: Middle English causen, probably from cause, n.

1. : to serve as cause or occasion of : bring into existence : make

careless driving causes accidents

trying to find what caused the fire

cause the water to flow into the new channel

2. : to effect by command, authority, or force

the president caused the ambassador to protest

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.