/kawz/, n., v., caused, causing.n.1. a person or thing that acts, happens, or exists in such a way that some specific thing happens as a result; the producer of an effect: You have been the cause of much anxiety. What was the cause of the accident?2. the reason or motive for some human action: The good news was a cause for rejoicing.3. good or sufficient reason: to complain without cause; to be dismissed for cause.4. Law.a. a ground of legal action; the matter over which a person goes to law.b. a case for judicial decision.5. any subject of discussion or debate.6. a principle, ideal, goal, or movement to which a person or group is dedicated: the Socialist cause; the human rights cause.7. the welfare of a person or group, seen as a subject of concern: support for the cause of the American Indian.8. Philos.a. the end or purpose for which a thing is done or produced.b. Aristotelianism. any of the four things necessary for the movement or the coming into being of a thing, namely a material (material cause), something to act upon it (efficient cause), a form taken by the movement or development (formal cause), and a goal or purpose (final cause).9. make common cause, to unite in a joint effort; work together for the same end: They made common cause with neighboring countries and succeeded in reducing tariffs.v.t.10. to be the cause of; bring about.[1175-1225; ME < L causa reason, sake, case]Syn. 1. CAUSE, OCCASION refer to the starting of effects into motion. A CAUSE is an agency, perhaps acting through a long time, or a long-standing situation, that produces an effect: The cause of the quarrel between the two men was jealousy. An OCCASION is an event that provides an opportunity for the effect to become evident, or perhaps promotes its becoming evident: The occasion was the fact that one man's wages were increased. 3. See reason. 10. effect, make, create, produce.
* * *