cau·​sal·​i·​ty | \ kȯ-ˈza-lə-tē How to pronounce causality (audio) \
plural causalities

Definition of causality

1 : a causal quality or agency
2 : the relation between a cause and its effect or between regularly correlated events or phenomena

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of causality in a Sentence

Scientists found no causality between the events. a supreme being is a being that, by definition, has no causality of its own
Recent Examples on the Web Any good data scientist will warn you: correlation is not causality. Fortune, "How designers are visualizing America’s failure to cope with COVID-19," 7 July 2020 And as with much social science research, definitively proving causality — that Fox News coverage caused people to change behavior, which in turn caused the pandemic to spread more — is beyond the scope of the methods used. Washington Post, "New research explores how conservative media misinformation may have intensified the severity of the pandemic," 25 June 2020 Davis says machines need to master fundamental concepts like time, causality, and social interaction in order to demonstrate real intelligence. Will Knight, Wired, "Watson's Creator Wants to Teach AI a New Trick: Common Sense," 9 May 2020 Exploring causality in books, Navsaria said, prompts a child to ask bigger and broader questions: How does the world work? Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Children prefer storybooks that teach them how and why the world works, study says," 15 Apr. 2020 At a fundamental level, physical reality defies our most basic intuitions about causality and locality, which is to say about time and space. Charles Yu, The Atlantic, "The Pre-pandemic Universe Was the Fiction," 15 Apr. 2020 David Cox, director of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab, which was involved with the work, says understanding causality is fundamentally important for AI. Will Knight, Wired, "If AI's So Smart, Why Can't It Grasp Cause and Effect?," 9 Mar. 2020 Even if time travel appears to present difficulties for such notions as causality, the history of physics has taught us that new discoveries force us to periodically modify our understanding of cherished notions. Lawrence M. Krauss, NBC News, "What Einstein and Bill Gates Teach Us About Time Travel," 10 May 2017 This finding not only refutes a tight test score-GDP growth link, but also unmasks causality as simply statistical coincidence. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Is there really a link between test scores and America’s economic future?," 27 Apr. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of causality

1603, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for causality

borrowed from Medieval Latin causālitāt- causālitās, from Late Latin causālis causal + Latin -itāt-, -itās -ity

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about causality

Time Traveler for causality

Time Traveler

The first known use of causality was in 1603

See more words from the same year

Statistics for causality

Last Updated

20 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Causality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for causality


How to pronounce causality (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of causality

: the relationship between something that happens or exists and the thing that causes it
: the idea that something can cause another thing to happen or exist


cau·​sal·​i·​ty | \ kȯ-ˈza-lə-tē How to pronounce causality (audio) \
plural causalities

Legal Definition of causality

: the relationship between cause and effect

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on causality

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


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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