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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. [1913 Webster] Cause is substance exerting its power into act, to make one thing begin to be. --Locke. [1913 Webster] 2. That which is the occasion of an action or state; ground; reason; motive; as, cause for rejoicing. [1913 Webster] 3. Sake; interest; advantage. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] I did it not for his cause. --2 Cor. vii. 12. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] 5. Any subject of discussion or debate; matter; question; affair in general. [1913 Webster] What counsel give you in this weighty cause! --Shak. [1913 Webster] 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. [1913 Webster] God befriend us, as our cause is just. --Shak. [1913 Webster] The part they take against me is from zeal to the cause. --Burke. [1913 Webster] Efficient cause, the agent or force that produces a change or result. Final cause, the end, design, or object, for which anything is done. 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 the matter. Material cause, that of which anything is made. Proximate cause. See under Proximate. To make common cause with, to join with in purposes and aims. --Macaulay. Syn: Origin; source; mainspring; motive; reason; incitement; inducement; purpose; object; suit; action. [1913 Webster]