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cause definition

Overview

This page has 27 definitions of cause with English translations in 8 languages. Cause is a noun and verb. Examples of how to use cause in a sentence are shown. Also define these 29 related words and terms: source, reason, grounds, justification, goal, aim, principle, transcend, selfish, law, suit, action, set off, produce, result, causar, cause, conséquence, case, causer, causa, eu, ele, ela, você, usted, yo, él, and ella.

See also: 'cause and causé

English cause definition

Etymology

From Middle English cause, borrowed from Old French cause (a cause, a thing), from Latin causa (reason, sake, cause), in Middle English also "a thing". Origin uncertain. See accuse, excuse, recuse, ruse. 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)).

Pronunciation

Noun

cause (countable and uncountable, plural causes)

  1. (countable, often with of, typically of adverse results) The source of, or reason for, an event or action; that which produces or effects a result.
    They identified a burst pipe as the cause of the flooding.
    • 1595 December 9 (first known performance), William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act I, scene i], page 23, column 1:
      We thanke you both, yet one but flatters vs,
      As well appeareth by the cauſe you come,
      Namely, to appeale each other of high treaſon.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 5, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      He was thinking; but the glory of the song, the swell from the great organ, the clustered lights, […], the height and vastness of this noble fane, its antiquity and its strength—all these things seemed to have their part as causes of the thrilling emotion that accompanied his thoughts.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:cause
  2. (uncountable, especially with for and a bare noun) Sufficient reason for a state, as of emotion.
    There is no cause for alarm.
    The end of the war was a cause for celebration.
    Synonyms: grounds, justification
  3. (countable) A goal, aim or principle, especially one which transcends purely selfish ends.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:goal
    • Selfish definition
      Holding one's own self-interest as the standard for decision making. (1 of 2 selfish definitions)
  4. (obsolete) Sake; interest; advantage.
  5. (countable, obsolete) Any subject of discussion or debate; a matter; an affair.
  6. (countable, 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.

Derived terms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

See also

Verb

cause (third-person singular simple present causes, present participle causing, simple past and past participle caused)

  1. (transitive) To set off an event or action.
    The lightning caused thunder.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, chapter I, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314, page 0045:
      Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. [] She put back a truant curl from her forehead where it had sought egress to the world, and looked him full in the face now, drawing a deep breath which caused the round of her bosom to lift the lace at her throat.
    • 2013 June 1, “A better waterworks”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8838, page 5 (Technology Quarterly):
      An artificial kidney these days still means a refrigerator-sized dialysis machine. Such devices mimic [] real kidneys []. But they are nothing like as efficient, and can cause bleeding, clotting and infection—not to mention inconvenience for patients, who typically need to be hooked up to one three times a week for hours at a time.
  2. (ditransitive) To actively produce as a result, by means of force or authority.
    His dogged determination caused the fundraising to be successful.
    • Result definition
      To proceed, spring up or rise, as a consequence, from facts, arguments, premises, combination of circumstances, consultation, thought or endeavor. (1 of 4 result definitions)
  3. To assign or show cause; to give a reason; to make excuse.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)

Derived terms

Translations

Further reading

Anagrams


Asturian cause definition

Verb

cause

  1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive of causar
    • Causar definition
      to cause

French cause definition

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Old French cause, borrowed from Classical Latin causa. Compare chose, an inherited doublet.

Noun

cause f (plural causes)

  1. cause
    Antonym: conséquence
    • Conséquence definition
      consequence
  2. (law) case (a legal proceeding)
Derived terms

Etymology 2

See the etymology of the main entry.

Verb

cause

  1. inflection of causer:
    1. first/third-person singular present indicative/subjunctive
    2. second-person singular imperative
    • Causer definition
      someone or something that causes or produces an effect.

Further reading

Anagrams


Italian cause definition

Noun

cause f pl

  1. plural of causa
    • Causa definition
      inflection of causar: third-person singular present indicative second-person singular imperative (1 of 3 causa definitions)

Middle English cause definition

Etymology

Borrowed from Old French cause.

Noun

cause (plural causes)

  1. cause

Descendants


Norman cause definition

Etymology

From Old French cause, borrowed from Latin causa.

Noun

cause f (plural causes)

  1. (Jersey, law) case

Old French cause definition

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin causa, whence the inherited chose.

Noun

cause f (oblique plural causes, nominative singular cause, nominative plural causes)

  1. cause
    • 1377, Bernard de Gordon, Fleur de lis de medecine (a.k.a. lilium medicine), page 142 of this essay:
      On doit avoir plusieurs entencions, car en curant, on doit bien considerer la cause et la nature de la maladie
      One must have several intentions, because in treating, one must consider the cause and the nature of the disease

Descendants


Portuguese cause definition

Verb

cause

  1. first-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of causar
    • Eu definition
      alternative form of io
  2. third-person singular (ele and ela, also used with você and others) present subjunctive of causar
    • Ele definition
      the name of the Latin-script letter L.
    • Ela definition
      the name of the Latin-script letter L.
    • Você definition
      second-person singular personal pronoun; you (1 of 2 você definitions)
  3. third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of causar
  4. third-person singular (você) negative imperative of causar

Spanish cause definition

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ˈkause/, [ˈkau̯.se]

Verb

cause

  1. Formal second-person singular (usted) imperative form of causar.
  2. First-person singular (yo) present subjunctive form of causar.
  3. Formal second-person singular (usted) present subjunctive form of causar.
  4. Third-person singular (él, ella, also used with usted?) present subjunctive form of causar.
    • Él definition
      he
    • Ella definition
      she