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

  • n. The producer of an effect, result, or consequence.
  • n. The one, such as a person, event, or condition, that is responsible for an action or result.
  • n. A basis for an action or response; a reason: The doctor's report gave no cause for alarm.
  • n. A goal or principle served with dedication and zeal: "the cause of freedom versus tyranny” ( Hannah Arendt).
  • n. The interests of a person or group engaged in a struggle: "The cause of America is in great measure the cause of all mankind” ( Thomas Paine).
  • n. Law A ground for legal action.
  • n. Law A lawsuit.
  • n. A subject under debate or discussion.
  • transitive v. To be the cause of or reason for; result in.
  • transitive v. To bring about or compel by authority or force: The moderator invoked a rule causing the debate to be ended.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • conj. Abbreviation of because.
  • n. That which produces or effects a result; that from which anything proceeds, and without which it would not exist.
  • n. That which is the occasion of an action or state; ground; reason; motive.
  • n. Sake; interest; advantage.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Any subject of discussion or debate; matter; question; affair in general.
  • n. 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.
  • intransitive v. To assign or show cause; to give a reason; to make excuse.
  • transitive v. 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.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make; force; compel; with an infinitive after the object: as, the storm caused him to seek shelter.
  • To show cause; give reasons.
  • n. 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.
  • n. Specifically An antecedent upon which an effect follows according to a law of nature; an efficient cause.
  • n. The reason or motive for mental action or decision; ground for action in general.
  • n. In law, a legal proceeding between adverse parties; a case for judicial decision. See case, 5.
  • n. In a general sense, any subject of question or debate; a subject of special interest or concern; business; affair.
  • n. Advantage; interest; sake.
  • n. 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.

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

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

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

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

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  • 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.

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  • 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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  • Did Simon actually make a "we have a right 'cause we're right" argument, much less a "'cause-we-can" definition of power argument?

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  • So, yeah, penalties can be engaging things, but that sounds to me like a slippery-slope: Too many of those won't cause me to bond with the community, 'cause I won't even be playing that game.

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  • creator, maker

    July 22, 2009

  • 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