The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Cause \Cause\ (k[add]z), n. [F. cause, fr. L. causa. Cf.
Cause, v., Kickshaw.]
1. That which produces or effects a result; that from which
anything proceeds, and without which it would not exist.
Cause is substance exerting its power into act, to
make one thing begin to be. --Locke.
2. That which is the occasion of an action or state; ground;
reason; motive; as, cause for rejoicing.
3. Sake; interest; advantage. [Obs.]
I did it not for his cause. --2 Cor. vii.
4. (Law) A suit or action in court; any legal process by
which a party endeavors to obtain his claim, or what he
regards as his right; case; ground of action.
5. Any subject of discussion or debate; matter; question;
affair in general.
What counsel give you in this weighty cause! --Shak.
6. The side of a question, which is espoused, advocated, and
upheld by a person or party; a principle which is
advocated; that which a person or party seeks to attain.
God befriend us, as our cause is just. --Shak.
The part they take against me is from zeal to the
Efficient cause, the agent or force that produces a change
Final cause, the end, design, or object, for which anything
Formal cause, the elements of a conception which make the
conception or the thing conceived to be what it is; or the
idea viewed as a formative principle and cooperating with
Material cause, that of which anything is made.
Proximate cause. See under Proximate.
To make common cause with, to join with in purposes and
Syn: Origin; source; mainspring; motive; reason; incitement;
inducement; purpose; object; suit; action.