from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The producer of an effect, result, or consequence.
  • noun The one, such as a person, event, or condition, that is responsible for an action or result.
  • noun A basis for an action or response; a reason.
  • noun A goal or principle served with dedication and zeal.
  • noun The interests of a person or group engaged in a struggle.
  • noun A lawsuit or criminal prosecution.
  • noun The ground or basis for a lawsuit.
  • noun A subject under debate or discussion.
  • transitive verb To be the cause of or reason for; result in.
  • transitive verb To bring about or compel by authority or force.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun That by the power of which an event or thing is; a principle from which an effect arises; that upon which something depends per se; in general, anything which stands to something else in a real relation analogous to the mental relation of the antecedent to the consequent of a conditional proposition.
  • noun Specifically An antecedent upon which an effect follows according to a law of nature; an efficient cause.
  • noun The reason or motive for mental action or decision; ground for action in general.
  • noun In law, a legal proceeding between adverse parties; a case for judicial decision. See case, 5.
  • noun In a general sense, any subject of question or debate; a subject of special interest or concern; business; affair.
  • noun Advantage; interest; sake.
  • noun That side of a question which an individual or party takes up; that object to which the efforts of a person or party are directed.
  • To make; force; compel; with an infinitive after the object: as, the storm caused him to seek shelter.
  • To show cause; give reasons.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb obsolete To assign or show cause; to give a reason; to make excuse.
  • transitive verb To effect as an agent; to produce; to be the occasion of; to bring about; to bring into existence; to make; -- usually followed by an infinitive, sometimes by that with a finite verb.
  • noun That which produces or effects a result; that from which anything proceeds, and without which it would not exist.
  • noun That which is the occasion of an action or state; ground; reason; motive.
  • noun obsolete Sake; interest; advantage.
  • noun (Law) A suit or action in court; any legal process by which a party endeavors to obtain his claim, or what he regards as his right; case; ground of action.
  • noun Any subject of discussion or debate; matter; question; affair in general.
  • noun The side of a question, which is espoused, advocated, and upheld by a person or party; a principle which is advocated; that which a person or party seeks to attain.
  • noun the agent or force that produces a change or result.
  • noun the end, design, or object, for which anything is done.
  • noun the elements of a conception which make the conception or the thing conceived to be what it is; or the idea viewed as a formative principle and coöperating with the matter.
  • noun that of which anything is made.
  • noun See under Proximate.
  • noun to join with in purposes and aims.
  • conjunction Abbreviation of because.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The source or reason of an event or action
  • noun A goal, aim or principle, especially one which transcends purely selfish ends.
  • verb To set off an event or action.
  • verb To actively produce as a result, by means of force or authority.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a justification for something existing or happening
  • noun any entity that produces an effect or is responsible for events or results
  • noun events that provide the generative force that is the origin of something
  • noun a comprehensive term for any proceeding in a court of law whereby an individual seeks a legal remedy
  • verb give rise to; cause to happen or occur, not always intentionally
  • noun a series of actions advancing a principle or tending toward a particular end
  • verb cause to do; cause to act in a specified manner


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin causa, reason, purpose.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English cause, from Old French cause ("a cause, a thing"), from Latin causa ("reason, sake, cause"), in Medieval Latin also "a thing". Origin uncertain. See accuse, excuse. Displaced native Middle English sake ("cause, reason") (from Old English sacu ("cause")), Middle English andweorc, andwork ("matter, cause") (from Old English andweorc ("matter, thing, cause")).


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  • (Soundbite of song, "You're A Rich Girl") HALL & OATES (Musicians, Singer-songwriters): (Singing) ... never be strong cause, you're a rich girl, rich girl, and you've gone too far 'cause you know it don't matter anyway, rich girl.

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  • Maybe I could be a singer, cause I didn't really start singing until I was pretty old, 'cause I didn't have no apparent talent for it.

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  • I say that cause that's how I'm going to move on and keep going and 'cause in a lot of ways it is fine.

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  • I say that cause that's how I'm going to move on and keep going and 'cause in a lot of ways it is fine.

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  • Maybe I'm nuts, maybe it's cause I'm an island boy through and through, or maybe the astrologists have something after all, and it's 'cause I'm a water sign, but whatever it is, days like this feel a lot more like vacation than the sunny ones for me.

    Put your Norton Anthologies up in the air, and wave 'em like you just don't care justnick 2009

  • Why'd you gots to cause wank just 'cause there isn't any, huh?

    Brat Twitters matgb 2008

  • Although Aristotle is careful to distinguish four different kinds of cause (or four different senses of ˜cause™), it is important to note that he claims that one and the same thing can be a cause in more than one sense.

    Aristotle's Metaphysics Cohen, S. Marc 2008

  • Stopped reading at that point – ‘cause if WAG can’t get it by now God help Wales 'cause WAG is not helping.

    Fighting economic unproductivity 2008

  • I figured it's cause they forgot to eat and because they're keyed up and nervous -- not necessarily 'cause they're thinking.

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  • He arose (standing as tall as possible)

    and declared (sounding as intelligent as possible):

    “I regret – I regret I say, that I have but one mind to give to the cause,�? and the cause muttered: “Thank you sweet Jesus!�?

    --Jan Cox

    August 29, 2007

  • creator, maker

    July 22, 2009