Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: Latin causa


1 noun
Related topics: Law
cause1 S2 W1
1 [countable] a person, event, or thing that makes something happen [↪ effect]
cause of
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for American women in their forties.
establish/investigate/discover etc the cause
It's our job to establish the cause of the fire.
root/underlying etc cause
The cost of the project was enormous, but it was not the fundamental cause of its failure.
cause and effect (=the idea that one thing directly causes another)
die of/from natural causes (=because of old age or an illness, not an accident, murder etc)
2 [uncountable] a fact that makes it right or reasonable for you to feel or behave in a particular way [= reason]
cause for
The patient's condition is giving cause for concern.
The present political climate gives little cause for optimism.
have (good) cause to do something
His father has good cause to be proud of him.
with/without good cause
Many people are worried about the economy, and with good cause.
3 [countable] an organization, belief, or aim that a group of people support or fight for
cause of
her lifelong devotion to the cause of women's rights
champion/further a cause
Since founding Island Records, Blackwell has championed the cause of Jamaican music.
worthy/good cause (=an organization that helps people who are ill, old etc, especially a charity)
You can get fit, and at the same time raise money for a worthy cause.
Please give generously, it's all in a good cause (=done in order to help people).

have/make common cause (with/against somebody)

formal to join with other people or groups in order to oppose an enemy:
U.S. officials expect other Western governments to make common cause with them over the arrests.
5 [countable] lawSCL a case that is brought to a court of law

➔ lost cause

at lost2 (12)

cause, reason
A cause is something such as an action, event, or situation that makes something happen The cause of the accident is not known. a determination to tackle the causes of crime A reason is an explanation for something Can you think of any reason why he would behave in this way? There is a good reason (NOT a good cause) for my decision. GRAMMAR Use the cause of, not 'cause for' or 'cause why' What is the cause of all this unrest?!!cause for is used in some expressions such as cause for alarm/concern/complaint/optimism/satisfaction There is no cause for concern. His remarks give some cause for hope. Use cause somebody to do something, not 'cause that somebody does something' A cat ran into the road, causing her to brake suddenly (NOT causing that she braked suddenly).

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