Definition of cause noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//kɔːz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//kɔːz//
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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.
  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) see also probable cause
  3. 3  [countable] an organization or idea that people support or fight for Animal welfare campaigners raised £70 000 for their cause last year. a good cause (= an organization that does good work, such as a charity) fighting 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. compare probable cause
    Word OriginMiddle English: from Old French, from Latin causa (noun), causare (verb).Extra examples A greater cause for resentment is the discrepancy in pay. He died of natural causes. He pleaded the cause of the local fishermen. Her health is giving us great cause for concern. She has taken up the cause of animal rights. She was keen to do anything that would further the cause. Smoking is a common cause of premature death. The different groups support a common cause. The experts may find cause to disagree with the school’s decision. The function took a lot of organizing, but was all for/​in a good cause. The money she left went to various worthy causes. The onus is on government departments to show cause why information cannot be disclosed. The precise cause of the accident is not known. The real cause of the problem lies in the poor construction of the bridge. There is no cause for alarm. There is no reasonable cause to suspect an unnatural death. They were not prepared to sacrifice themselves for the cause of the country. We have good cause to believe that he was involved in the crime. What are the causes of the crisis? attempts to identify the immediate cause of the breakdown battles fought in the cause of decentralization prominent figures in the socialist cause the causes of blindness the root cause of the problem the social causes of ill health to disregard the strict letter of the law in the cause of true justice young men willing to fight for the cause He dedicated his life to fighting for the Republican cause. If your child is absent without good cause , you may receive a warning from the school board. Oh well, it’s all for a good cause. She regarded me as the cause of all her problems. The food was excellent—I had no cause for complaint. They are still trying to identify the immediate cause of the breakdown.Idioms worth doing, because it is helping other people
    make common cause with somebody
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    (formal) to be united with somebody about something that you both agree on, believe in or wish to achieve
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: cause