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 Here was a classical, causal, realistic explanation. Quanta Magazine, "Closed Loophole Confirms the Unreality of the Quantum World," 25 July 2018 Over time those preferences will create an artificial positive correlation between inflation and unemployment, offsetting the underlying causal relationship running in the other direction. The Economist, "The rich worldEconomists’ models of inflation are letting them down," 10 Oct. 2019 One reason to doubt a causal relationship: Teen smoking was already in decline before e-cigarettes were widely used. Dan Kopf, Quartz, "Restricting e-cigarettes could increase the number of young smokers," 1 Oct. 2019 As with the Galton board, there must be analogous, albeit subquantal, causal processes that determine where a particular photon will end up on the far side of a double-slit experiment. Quanta Magazine, "How Randomness Can Arise From Determinism," 14 Oct. 2019 Her beau looked equal parts sharp and causal in a navy suit, banded collar shirt, and white sneakers. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Princess Beatrice and Fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi Go Out in London After Announcing Their Engagement," 2 Oct. 2019 But the researchers did not draw a causal line between drunkenness and criminal violence. Los Angeles Times, "Can DUI convictions help keep guns out of the hands of people prone to violence?," 2 Oct. 2019 All of the above suggest some cognitive architecture defined by constitutive and causal relations between processes. Dean Mobbs, Scientific American, "On the Nature of Fear," 20 Sep. 2019 After citing multiple studies, the inquiry concedes that a clear, causal link has yet to be established between loot boxes and problem gambling. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "UK Parliament: Ban all loot boxes until evidence proves they’re safe for kids," 12 Sep. 2019

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 2020

Cite this Entry

“Causal.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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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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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

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experienced by way of someone else

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