because

conjunction be·cause \ bi-ˈkȯz , -ˈkəz , -ˈkȯs , bē- \

Definition of because

1 :for the reason that :since
  • rested because he was tired
2 :the fact that :that
  • the reason I haven't been fired is because my boss hasn't got round to it yet
  • —E. B. White

Examples of because in a Sentence

  1. I ran because I was afraid.

  2. “Why did you do it?” “Because she told me to.”

Can you begin a sentence with because? Yes, and the reason is because . . .

Because has been the subject of a number of quibbles relating to its grammar and usage. Two of the more common ones are the notion that a sentence should never begin with because and the idea that the phrase “the reason is because” is somehow improper.

Although the construction appears to be more common in magazine and newspaper writing than in formal prose, beginning a sentence with because is both acceptable and widespread.

The prohibition against “the reason is because” is rooted partly in the idea that it is redundant (that is, akin to writing “the reason is for the reason that”). However, because may have the meaning “that” when it introduces a clause that functions as a noun in a sentence ("What is the reason for your delay?" "It is because my car broke down."). There is considerable evidence of this sort of use among some of our language’s most celebrated writers going back at least as far as the 16th century.

Origin and Etymology of because

Middle English because that, because, from by cause that

because Synonyms

Synonyms
as, as long as, since, being (as or as how or that) [chiefly dialect], 'cause, considering, for, inasmuch as, now, seeing, whereas


BECAUSE Defined for English Language Learners

because

conjunction

Definition of because for English Language Learners

  • : for the reason that


BECAUSE Defined for Kids

because

conjunction be·cause \ bi-ˈkȯz , -ˈkəz \

Definition of because for Students

:for the reason that
  • I ran because I was scared.
because of
:for the reason of
  • The game was canceled because of rain.


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up because? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to conform or adhere

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one-green-toy-robot-amidst-many-red-toy-robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!