cause noun

1 sb/sth that makes sth happen

ADJ. real, root, true, underlying the root cause of the problem | deeper, greater A greater cause for resentment is the discrepancy in pay. | biggest, chief, clear, fundamental, important, main, major, primary, prime, principal, significant | common Smoking is a common cause of premature death. | likely, possible | known, unknown | direct, indirect | immediate, initial | long-term, short-term | reasonable There is no reasonable cause to suspect an unnatural death. | contributory | hidden | social the social causes of ill health

VERB + CAUSE discover, find, identify attempts to identify the immediate cause of the breakdown

CAUSE + VERB be, lie in sth The real cause of the problem lies in the poor construction of the bridge.

PHRASES cause and effect, the cause of death, due to/from/of natural causes He died of natural causes.

2 reason

ADJ. good, great, real, reasonable

VERB + CAUSE have We have good cause to believe that he was involved in the crime. | find The experts may find cause to disagree with the school's decision. | give (sb) Her health is giving us great cause for concern. | show The onus is on government departments to show cause why information cannot be disclosed.

PREP. ~ for There is no cause for alarm.

PHRASES cause for concern, with/without good cause, without just cause

3 aim that people believe in

ADJ. deserving, good, just, noble, worthwhile, worthy The money she left went to various worthy causes. | bad, unjust | common The different groups support a common cause. | hopeless, lost (= one that has failed or that cannot succeed) | humanitarian, social | communist, socialist, etc.

VERB + CAUSE be committed/sympathetic to, champion, fight for, further, help, promote, serve, support young men willing to fight for the cause She was keen to do anything that would further the cause. | take up She has taken up the cause of animal rights. | plead He pleaded the cause of the local fishermen.

PREP. in a/the ~ prominent figures in the socialist cause | in the ~ of to disregard the strict letter of the law in the cause of true justice

PHRASES a cause celebre (= a controversial issue that attracts a great deal of public attention), (all) for/in a good cause The function took a lot of organizing, but was all in a good cause.