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cause - definition and synonyms


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noun cause pronunciation in American English /kɔz/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [countable] an event, thing, or person that makes something happen
    cause of: The pathologist’s report established the cause of death as extensive chest injuries.
    The major cause of these accidents is speeding by drivers.
    underlying/root cause (=the basic cause, but not an obvious one): Doctors are now recognizing stress as the underlying cause of many illnesses.
    Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] a reason for behaving in a particular way or for feeling a particular emotion
    cause for: His departure was cause for celebration in the village.
    no cause for concern/alarm: The doctor’s report on the biopsy states that there is no cause for concern.
    without good cause: He wouldn’t have done it without good cause (=a good reason).
  3. 3
    [countable] a goal, idea, or organization that you support or work for, for example in politics
    Campaigners hope that people will be sympathetic to their cause.
    champion a cause: He has championed (=strongly supported) the cause of renewable energy since the mid-1970s.
    1. a.
      an organization, plan, or activity that you are willing to support because it provides help or benefit to people who need it
      a good/worthy cause: Please give as much as you can: it’s for a very worthy cause.
      all in a good cause: It may be hard work but it’s all in a good cause.
  4. 4
    [countable] legal a case in a law court



a course of study which is much shorter than a university course and focuses on the skills you need for a job, especially computer-related skills

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an ancient Roman system of underfloor heating, used to heat houses with hot air; from the Latin 'hypocaustum'

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