caus·​al | \ ˈkȯ-zəl \

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 \ 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

While her causal green ensemble was seemingly a repeat of her past outfits, one of the most important pieces in her look was the jacket. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore an Army Green Fjallraven Jacket for Her Return From Maternity Leave," 2 Oct. 2018 Kelley said business is flat, and that while there is still a core of regulars, the causal customers have slowed. Ryan Blethen, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s last 3 video rental stores strive to remain part of the neighborhood," 10 Sep. 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 But triggering patients' laryngeal muscles by stimulating the associated neurons strongly enforces the case for a causal link. Robbie Gonzalez, WIRED, "One Sentence With 7 Meanings Unlocks a Mystery of Human Speech," 28 June 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

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

Statistics for causal

Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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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 \

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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a complex dispute or argument

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