From Middle English cause (also with the sense of “a thing”), borrowed from Old French cause (“a cause, a thing”), from Latin causa (“reason, sake, cause”), from Proto-Italic *kaussā, which is of unknown origin. See accuse, excuse, recuse, ruse. Partially displaced native Middle English sake (“cause, reason”) (from Old English sacu (“cause”)) (see sake), Displaced native Middle English andweorc, andwork (“matter, cause”) (from Old English andweorc (“matter, thing, cause”)).
- (Received Pronunciation) enPR: kôz, IPA(key): /kɔːz/, [kʰoːz̥]
- (General American) IPA(key): /kɔz/, [kʰɒːz̥]
Audio (GA) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɔːz
- Homophones: caws, 'cause; cores (non-rhotic dialects)
- (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
- (uncountable, especially with for and a bare noun) Sufficient reason for a state, as of emotion.
- (countable) A goal, aim or principle, especially one which transcends purely selfish ends.
- c. 1597, William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Fourth, […]”, 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 V, scene i]:
- God befriend us, as our cause is just.
- 1796, Edmund Burke, a letter to a noble lord
- The part they take against me is from zeal to the cause.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:goal
- (obsolete) Sake; interest; advantage.
- (countable, obsolete) Any subject of discussion or debate; a matter; an affair.
- 1591, William Shakespeare, “The Second Part of Henry the Sixt, […]”, 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 III, scene i]:
- What counsel give you in this weighty cause?
- (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.
- cause and effect
- cause celebre
- common cause (rhetoric)
- efficient cause
- external cause
- final cause
- first cause
- for cause (law)
- formal cause
- good cause
- just cause
- lost cause
- make common cause
- material cause
- probable cause
- proximate cause
- root cause
- show cause
- style of cause
- with cause
- without cause
- 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 Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- (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:
- 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.
- (ditransitive) To actively produce as a result, by means of force or authority.
- His dogged determination caused the fundraising to be successful.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981, Genesis 7:4:
- 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.
- To assign or show cause; to give a reason; to make excuse.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Edmund Spenser to this entry?)
- cause at OneLook Dictionary Search
- cause in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
- cause in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.
cause f (plural causes)
See the etymology of the corresponding lemma form.
- inflection of :
- “cause” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
cause f pl
- plural of
cause (plural causes)
- English: cause
cause f (plural causes)
- 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
- first-person singular (eu) present subjunctive of causar
- third-person singular (ele and ela, also used with você and others) present subjunctive of causar
- third-person singular (você) affirmative imperative of causar
- third-person singular (você) negative imperative of causar