caus·​al | \ ˈkȯ-zəl How to pronounce causal (audio) \

Definition of causal

1 : expressing or indicating cause : causative a causal clause introduced by since
2 : of, relating to, or constituting a cause the causal agent of a disease
3 : involving causation or a cause : marked by cause and effect a causal link evidence suggests that there is a strong causal relationship between an individual's experiences with his parents and his later capacity to make affectional bonds— G. A. Miller
4 : arising from a cause a causal development

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Other Words from causal

causally \ ˈkȯ-​zə-​lē How to pronounce causal (audio) \ adverb

Examples of causal in a Sentence

No causal connection between the events was found. There is a causal link between poverty and crime.
Recent Examples on the Web For one thing, there’s no way of demonstrating, retrospectively, a causal link between the flu and the psychiatric illnesses those patients were suffering from. Laura Spinney, Time, "What Long Flu Sufferers of the 1918-1919 Pandemic Can Tell Us About Long COVID Today," 31 Dec. 2020 Marloes Maathuis, a professor of theoretical and applied statistics at ETH Zurich, looked at how directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) could be used to derive causal relationships in data. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "A.I. needs to get real—and other takeways from this year’s NeurIPS," 15 Dec. 2020 As Americans have bought guns at record rates, some research suggests a causal increase in those weapons being used against others. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "2020’s murder increase is ‘unprecedented.’ But is it a blip?," 14 Dec. 2020 Laura Firszt, writing for a bit under two years ago, captured some possible causal factors, from pipe corrosion to shifting of the earth, very clearly. Maria Shine Stewart, cleveland, "Water offers buoyancy and supports our lives: Sun Messages," 19 Oct. 2020 None of these would give one pause or prompt a serious search for some kind of causal link to pregnancy loss. Jason Castro, Scientific American, "Does the Nose Talk to the Womb?," 8 Dec. 2020 Teasing out what is causal and what isn’t is difficult to do. Adrian Hernandez, STAT, "Covid-19 clinical trial pauses ‘show the system is working’," 14 Oct. 2020 This argument was always a stretch, and our analysis found several studies that disproved this assertion by clearly showing a causal effect. Deborah Korenstein, STAT, "Drug companies’ payments and gifts affect physicians’ prescribing. It’s time to turn off the spigot," 4 Dec. 2020 The next step is to use machine-learning algorithms to help researchers understand whether the relationships between aerosols and clouds is causal rather than statistical. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Climate Researchers Enlist Big Cloud Providers for Big Data Challenges," 25 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'causal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of causal

circa 1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for causal

borrowed from Late Latin causālis, from Latin causa cause entry 1 + -ālis -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for causal

Time Traveler

The first known use of causal was circa 1530

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Statistics for causal

Last Updated

8 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Causal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for causal


How to pronounce causal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of causal

: relating to or showing the cause of something
: making something happen : causing something


caus·​al | \ ˈkȯ-zəl How to pronounce causal (audio) \

Legal Definition of causal

1 : of, relating to, or constituting a cause causal negligence
2 : involving causation or a cause no causal relationship between driving without insurance and the accidentNational Law Journal a causal link exists between the deceptive act and the injuryNational Law Journal
3 : arising from a cause

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