American English

Definition of cause noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] the person or thing that makes something happen Unemployment is a major cause of poverty. There was discussion about the fire and its likely cause. Drinking and driving is one of the most common causes of traffic accidents. There is no simple cause-and-effect relationship between these two events.
  2. 2[uncountable] cause (for something) a reason for having particular feelings or behaving in a particular way There is no cause for concern. The food was excellent—I had no cause for complaint. with/without good cause (= with/without a good reason)
  3. 3[countable] an organization or idea that people support or fight for Animal welfare advocates raised $70,000 for their cause last year. a good cause (= an organization that does good work, such as a charity) campaigning for the Republican cause The donation is the biggest private gift to a humanitarian cause. see also lost cause
  4. 4[countable] (law) a case that goes to court
  5. Idioms
    be for/in a good cause
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    worth doing, because it is helping other people
    make common cause with somebody (formal)
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    to be united with someone about something that you both agree on, believe in, or wish to achieve
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: cause