Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Cause

Cause

(ka̤z)
,
Noun.
[F.
cause
, fr. L.
causa
. Cf.
Cause
,
Verb.
,
Kickshaw
.]
1.
That which produces or effects a result; that from which anything proceeds, and without which it would not exist.
Cause
is substance exerting its power into act, to make one thing begin to be.
Locke.
2.
That which is the occasion of an action or state; ground; reason; motive;
as,
cause
for rejoicing
.
3.
Sake; interest; advantage.
[Obs.]
I did it not for his
cause
.
2 Cor. vii. 12.
4.
(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.
5.
Any subject of discussion or debate; matter; question; affair in general.
What counsel give you in this weighty
cause
!
Shakespeare
6.
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.
God befriend us, as our
cause
is just.
Shakespeare
The part they take against me is from zeal to the
cause
.
Burke.
Syn. – Origin; source; mainspring; motive; reason; incitement; inducement; purpose; object; suit; action.

Cause

,
Verb.
T.
[
imp. & p. p.
Caused
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Causing
.]
[F.
causer
, fr.
cause
, fr. L.
causa
. See
Cause
,
Noun.
, and cf.
Acouse
.]
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.
I will
cause
it to rain upon the earth forty days.
Gen. vii. 4.
Syn. – To create; produce; beget; effect; occasion; originate; induce; bring about.

Cause

,
Verb.
I.
To assign or show cause; to give a reason; to make excuse.
[Obs.]
Spenser.

Cause

,
c
onj.
Abbreviation of
Because
.
B. Jonson.

Webster 1828 Edition


Cause

CAUSE

,
Noun.
s as z.
1.
A suit or action in court; any legal process which a party institutes to obtain his demand, or by which he seeks his right or his supposed right. This is a legal, scriptural and popular use of the word, coinciding nearly with case from cado, and action from ago, to urge or drive.
The cause of both parties shall come before the judges. Ex. 22.
2.
That which produces an effect; that which impels into existence, or by its agency or operation produces what did not before exist; that by virtue of which any thing is done; that from which any thing proceeds, and without which it would not exist.
Cause is a substance exerting its power into act, to make a thing begin to be.
3.
The reason or motive that urges, moves, or impels the mind to act or decide.
For this cause have I raised up Pharaoh. Ex. 9.
And David said, is there not a cause? 1 Sam. 17.
4.
Sake; account.
I did it not for his cause that had done the wrong. 2 Cor. 6. [See Sake.]
5.
That which a party or nation pursues; or rather pursuit, prosecution of an object. We say, Bible Societies are engaged in a noble cause. [See the first definition.] Hence the word cause is used to denote that which a person or thing favors; that to which the efforts of an intelligent being are directed; as, to promote religion is to advance the cause of God. So we say, the cause of truth or of justice. In all its applications, cause retains something of its original meaning, struggle, impelling force, contest, effort to obtain or to effect something.
6.
Without cause, without good reason; without a reason or motive to justify the act.
They hate me without cause. Ps. 35. 69.

CAUSE

, v.t.
1.
To produce; to bring into existence.
They caused great joy to all the brethren. Acts 15.
2.
To effect by agency, power or influence.
I will cause it to rain on the earth forty days. Gen. 7.
I will cause him to fall by the sword. 2 Kings 19.

CAUSE

,
Verb.
I.
To assign insufficient cause.

Definition 2022


cause

cause

See also: 'cause and causé

English

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.
    • 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.
  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.
  3. (countable) A goal, aim or principle, especially one which transcends purely selfish ends.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      God befriend us, as our cause is just.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Burke
      The part they take against me is from zeal to the cause.
  4. (obsolete) Sake; interest; advantage.
    • Bible, 2 Corinthians vii. 12
      I did it not for his cause.
  5. (countable, obsolete) Any subject of discussion or debate; a matter; an affair.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Shakespeare
      What counsel give you in this weighty cause?
  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.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

See also

Verb

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

  1. To set off an event or action.
    The lightning caused thunder.
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterI:
      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, 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. To actively produce as a result, by means of force or authority.
    His dogged determination caused the fundraising to be successful.
    • Bible, Genesis vii.4
      I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 13, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes. He said that if you wanted to do anything for them, you must rule them, not pamper them. Soft heartedness caused more harm than good.
  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

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: truth · turn · hold · #417: cause · close · England · sense

Anagrams


Asturian

Verb

cause

  1. first-person singular present subjunctive of causar
  2. third-person singular present subjunctive of causar

French

Etymology

Borrowed from classical Latin causa. Compare chose.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /koz/

Noun

cause f (plural causes)

  1. cause
  2. case (a legal proceeding)

Derived terms

Verb

cause

  1. first-person singular present indicative of causer
  2. third-person singular present indicative of causer
  3. first-person singular present subjunctive of causer
  4. third-person singular present subjunctive of causer
  5. second-person singular imperative of causer

Anagrams


Italian

Noun

cause f pl

  1. plural of causa

Middle English

Etymology

From Old French cause.

Noun

cause (plural causes)

  1. cause

Norman

Etymology

From Latin causa.

Noun

cause f (plural causes)

  1. (Jersey, law) case

Old French

Noun

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

  1. cause
    • 1303, 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

Portuguese

Verb

cause

  1. First-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of causar
  2. Third-person singular (ele, ela, also used with tu and você?) present subjunctive of causar
  3. Third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of causar
  4. Third-person singular (você) negative imperative of causar

Spanish

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.