Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
These nouns denote what brings about or is associated with an effect or result. A cause is an agent or condition that permits the occurrence of an effect or leads to a result: "He is not only dull in himself, but the cause of dullness in others" (Samuel Foote).
Reason refers to what explains the occurrence or nature of an effect: There was no obvious reason for the accident.
Occasion is something that brings on or precipitates an action, condition, or event: "Injustice provides the occasion for change" (Alan Dershowitz).
Antecedent refers to what has gone before and implies a relationship—but not necessarily a causal one—with what ensues: Some of the antecedents of World War II lie in economic conditions in Europe following World War I.
n., v. caused, caus•ing. n.
'cause(kɔz, kʌz, unstressed kəz)
- Affect me [with revulsion] like the smell of a cheap cigar left smoldering in an ashtray —Jonathan Valin
In Valin’s novel, Final Notice, the descriptive frame of reference for the simile is a tattoo.
- The certainty [of his desire] landed in the bottom of my stomach like a flatiron —Mary Gordon
- The change [in living accommodations] would be like going from Purgatory to Paradise —Louisa May Alcott
- The conviction that I am loved and loving affects me like a military bracing —John Cheever
- The effort made him choke like a tiger at a bone —Robert Frost
- Every gesture … aroused a beat chant like the beat of the heart of the desert —Anaĩs Nin
- (This city) exacerbates loneliness in me the same way that water makes Alka-Seltzer fizz —Pat Conroy
- The general effect was exactly like a microscopic view of a small detachment of black beetles in search of a dead rat —John Ruskin
- Has a disruptive effect … like a torpedo coming down Main Street —Anon politician on Gramm-Rudman Law, February, 1986
- Has as little effect on me as water on a duck’s back —American colloquialism, attributed to South
A variation: “As water rolling off a duck’s back.”
- Her absence felt like a presence, an electrical charge of silence in the house —John Updike
- His death served to remind me, like a custard pie in the face, that life is sometimes like one big savage joke —Sue Grafton
- (A blast of Prince [music] … ) hit me like a feather boa with a length of lead pipe in it —Jonathan Valin
- Its [melancholy] effect upon you is somewhat similar to what would probably be produced by a combined attack of toothache, indigestion and a cold in the head —Jerome K. Jerome
- It [forcing an old priest into retirement] was just like ripping an old tree out of the ground —W. P. Kinsella
- The kind whisper went to my heart like a dagger —Charlotte Brontë
- Offering a flight attendant a $20 bill for a $2 drink is like spitting on an Alabama state trooper —Louis D. Wilson, Wall Street Journal, June 30, 1986
- Pain and poverty and thwarted ambition … can break the virtues like brittle bones —George Garrett
- Seeing her again … was like rediscovering a half-forgotten landmark —Ann Petry
- [When a tired-looking woman smiles] some of the years of hard living fell away like happy tears —James Crumley
The cause of an event is the thing that makes it happen.
You always use of, not 'for', after cause.
Don't use 'because of' or 'due to' with cause. Don't say, for example, 'The cause of the fire was probably due to a dropped cigarette'. You say 'The cause of the fire was probably a dropped cigarette'.
To cause something means to make it happen.
You can say that something causes someone to do something.
Don't say that something 'causes that someone does' something.
Past participle: caused
|Noun||1.||cause - events that provide the generative force that is the origin of something; "they are trying to determine the cause of the crash"|
inception, origination, origin - an event that is a beginning; a first part or stage of subsequent events
antecedent - a preceding occurrence or cause or event
factor - anything that contributes causally to a result; "a number of factors determined the outcome"
producer - something that produces; "Maine is a leading producer of potatoes"; "this microorganism is a producer of disease"
mutagenesis - an event capable of causing a mutation
|2.||cause - a justification for something existing or happening; "he had no cause to complain"; "they had good reason to rejoice"|
justification - a statement in explanation of some action or belief
|3.||cause - a series of actions advancing a principle or tending toward a particular end; "he supported populist campaigns"; "they worked in the cause of world peace"; "the team was ready for a drive toward the pennant"; "the movement to end slavery"; "contributed to the war effort"|
venture - any venturesome undertaking especially one with an uncertain outcome
anti-war movement - a campaign against entering or continuing a war
charm campaign - a campaign of flattery and friendliness (by a company, politician, etc.) to become more popular and gain support
consumerism - a movement advocating greater protection of the interests of consumers
campaigning, candidacy, candidature, electioneering, political campaign - the campaign of a candidate to be elected
fund-raising campaign, fund-raising drive, fund-raising effort - a campaign to raise money for some cause
feminist movement, women's lib, women's liberation movement, feminism - the movement aimed at equal rights for women
gay lib, gay liberation movement - the movement aimed at liberating homosexuals from legal or social or economic oppression
lost cause - a defeated cause or a cause for which defeat is inevitable
reform - a campaign aimed to correct abuses or malpractices; "the reforms he proposed were too radical for the politicians"
war - a concerted campaign to end something that is injurious; "the war on poverty"; "the war against crime"
|4.||cause - any entity that produces an effect or is responsible for events or results|
physical entity - an entity that has physical existence
individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul - a human being; "there was too much for one person to do"
agent - an active and efficient cause; capable of producing a certain effect; "their research uncovered new disease agents"
nature - a causal agent creating and controlling things in the universe; "the laws of nature"; "nature has seen to it that men are stronger than women"
occult, supernatural - supernatural forces and events and beings collectively; "She doesn't believe in the supernatural"
theurgy - the effect of supernatural or divine intervention in human affairs
first cause, prime mover, primum mobile - an agent that is the cause of all things but does not itself have a cause; "God is the first cause"
destiny, fate - the ultimate agency regarded as predetermining the course of events (often personified as a woman); "we are helpless in the face of destiny"
catalyst - something that causes an important event to happen; "the invasion acted as a catalyst to unite the country"
deus ex machina - any active agent who appears unexpectedly to solve an insoluble difficulty
manipulator, operator - an agent that operates some apparatus or machine; "the operator of the switchboard"
power, force - one possessing or exercising power or influence or authority; "the mysterious presence of an evil power"; "may the force be with you"; "the forces of evil"
life principle, vital principle - a hypothetical force to which the functions and qualities peculiar to living things are sometimes ascribed
engine - something used to achieve a purpose; "an engine of change"
cause of death, killer - the causal agent resulting in death; "heart disease is the biggest killer in the United States"
danger - a cause of pain or injury or loss; "he feared the dangers of traveling by air"
agent - a substance that exerts some force or effect
|5.||cause - a comprehensive term for any proceeding in a court of law whereby an individual seeks a legal remedy; "the family brought suit against the landlord"|
civil suit - a lawsuit alleging violations of civil law by the defendant
class action, class-action suit - a lawsuit brought by a representative member of a large group of people on behalf of all members of the group
countersuit - a suit brought against someone who has sued you
criminal suit - a lawsuit alleging violations of criminal law by the defendant
moot - a hypothetical case that law students argue as an exercise; "he organized the weekly moot"
bastardy proceeding, paternity suit - a lawsuit filed to determine the father of a child born out of wedlock (and to provide for the support of the child once paternity is determined)
legal proceeding, proceeding, proceedings - (law) the institution of a sequence of steps by which legal judgments are invoked
|Verb||1.||cause - give rise to; cause to happen or occur, not always intentionally; "cause a commotion"; "make a stir"; "cause an accident"|
shape, determine, influence, regulate, mold - shape or influence; give direction to; "experience often determines ability"; "mold public opinion"
initiate, pioneer - take the lead or initiative in; participate in the development of; "This South African surgeon pioneered heart transplants"
make - compel or make somebody or something to act in a certain way; "People cannot be made to integrate just by passing a law!"; "Heat makes you sweat"
occasion - give occasion to
call forth, evoke, kick up, provoke - evoke or provoke to appear or occur; "Her behavior provoked a quarrel between the couple"
incite, motivate, prompt, propel, actuate, move - give an incentive for action; "This moved me to sacrifice my career"
facilitate - increase the likelihood of (a response); "The stimulus facilitates a delayed impulse"
|2.||cause - cause to do; cause to act in a specified manner; "The ads induced me to buy a VCR"; "My children finally got me to buy a computer"; "My wife made me buy a new sofa"|
decide - cause to decide; "This new development finally decided me!"
persuade - cause somebody to adopt a certain position, belief, or course of action; twist somebody's arm; "You can't persuade me to buy this ugly vase!"
bring - induce or persuade; "The confession of one of the accused brought the others to admit to the crime as well"
solicit - incite, move, or persuade to some act of lawlessness or insubordination; "He was accused of soliciting his colleagues to destroy the documents"
encourage - spur on; "His financial success encouraged him to look for a wife"
let - actively cause something to happen; "I let it be known that I was not interested"
lead - cause to undertake a certain action; "Her greed led her to forge the checks"
suborn - induce to commit perjury or give false testimony; "The President tried to suborn false witnesses"
origin end, result, effect, consequence, outcome
cause and effect → (relación de) causa y efecto
with good cause → con razón
to be the cause of → ser causa de
there's no cause for alarm → no hay por qué inquietarse
to give cause for complaint → dar motivo de queja
you have cause to be worried → usted tiene motivo para estar preocupado
to show cause (frm) → aducir argumentos convincentes
in the cause of justice → por la justicia
to make common cause with → hacer causa común con
it's all in a good cause → se está haciendo por una buena causa
to die in a good cause → morir por una causa noble
to take up sb's cause → apoyar la campaña de algn
see also lost C
I don't want to cause you any inconvenience → no quisiera causarle ninguna molestia
to cause sb to do sth → hacer que algn haga algo
to have no cause to do sth → ne pas avoir de raison de faire qch
cause for concern
There is no cause for concern → Il n'y a pas lieu de s'inquiéter.
cause and effect → causa ed effetto
with good cause → a ragione
to be the cause of → essere (la) causa di
there's no cause for alarm → non c'è motivo di allarme
there is no cause for concern → non c'è ragione di preoccuparsi