From Longman Business Dictionary
ˌprɒksəmət ˈkɔːzˌprɑːksəmət ˈkɒːz
the thing that is directly
Pilots’ breaches of duty and negligence were a proximate cause of the plane crash.
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a metaphorical use of a word is not concerned with real objects or physical events, but with ideas or events of a non-physical kind
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