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 causally (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

What’s more, the causal mechanism is one liberals embrace in most contexts: representation matters. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Family structure matters, but can we do anything about it?," 5 Oct. 2018 While anti-regulatory cases tended to make the case that regulation harms profits, pro-regulatory cases had a harder time convincing courts of harm or that climate change was causal in that harm. Cathleen O'grady, Ars Technica, "What happens when climate change meets the courts?," 26 Aug. 2018 More illuminating are two clinical sources of causal evidence: electrical stimulation of cortical tissue and the study of patients following the loss of specific regions caused by injury or disease. Christof Koch, Scientific American, "What Is Consciousness?," 8 May 2018 The study is relatively small, though, and demonstrates a correlation, not a causal link. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Here’s What You Need to Know About Using Marijuana While Pregnant or Breastfeeding," 12 Oct. 2018 So the authors attempted to test for a causal connection between the two. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Researchers ID genes that could make you more likely to try cannabis," 28 Aug. 2018 In other words, more research is needed to learn more about the causal relationship between these findings and diet or dietary discipline. SELF, "What You Need to Know Before Trying Intermittent Fasting," 7 Nov. 2018 The study, in BMJ Open, found an association, not a causal relationship. Nicholas Bakalar, New York Times, "Eating Fast May Raise Obesity Risk," 22 Feb. 2018 The occurrence of these three events at the same time in our planet’s history has fueled a decades-long debate about causal links. Smithsonian, "The Meteorite That Killed the Dinosaurs May Have Also Triggered Underwater Volcanoes," 8 Feb. 2018

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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Dictionary Entries near causal







causal necessity

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Time Traveler for causal

The first known use of causal was circa 1530

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More Definitions for causal



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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More from Merriam-Webster on causal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with causal

Spanish Central: Translation of causal

Nglish: Translation of causal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of causal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on causal

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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