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a. The producer of an effect, result, or consequence.
b. The one, such as a person, event, or condition, that is responsible for an action or result.
2. A basis for an action or response; a reason: The doctor's report gave no cause for alarm.
3. A goal or principle served with dedication and zeal: "the cause of freedom versus tyranny" (Hannah Arendt).
4. 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).
5. Law
a. A lawsuit or criminal prosecution.
b. The ground or basis for a lawsuit.
6. A subject under debate or discussion.
tr.v. caused, caus·ing, caus·es
1. To be the cause of or reason for; result in.
2. To bring about or compel by authority or force: The moderator invoked a rule causing the debate to be ended.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin causa, reason, cause, grounds for a lawsuit, lawsuit, of unknown origin.]

caus′a·ble adj.
cause′less adj.
caus′er n.
Synonyms: cause, reason, occasion, antecedent
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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Lee Causer had been released from prison just two weeks earlier after being given a total of seven months for another nasty attack on Samantha Beaton.
Draycote fisheries warden Keith Causer explained: "We've introduced them as a novelty really, to give our anglers something different.
A VIGIL is being held in Liverpool city centre to mark the seventh anniversary of the murder of Huyton teenager Michael Causer.
AN ARTIST has planted a flower for murdered teenager Michael Causer, at the place where he was found fatally wounded.
Police in Stafford are appealing for help to trace 16-year-old Rebecca Causer, known as Becca.
However, festival highlight the Pride March will go ahead, making its way from St George's Hall through the city centre, and the Michael Causer Vigil will still take place.
James O'Connor, 20, formerly of Huyton, now of The Brow, Runcorn, admitted murder after stamping on 18-year-old Michael Causer's face at a drunken party on Biglands Drive, Huyton, on July 25 last year.
It is working in conjunction with House of Suarez, Delifonseca and the Michael Causer Foundation, and promises the evening will be a celebration of the city's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) community, raising money for projects in the area and the work of the Michael Causer Foundation.
THE Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender network are holding a special extraordinary meeting tonight following the verdict into the death of Michael Causer.
I was privileged to be allowed to introduce the Michael Causer family to the stage.
Family and friends of Whiston hairdresser Michael Causer held a peaceful protest outside Liverpool Crown Court yesterday.
The LGBT festival, now in its fifth year, is held in memory of Michael Causer, the gay teenager who was murdered at a house party in 2008.