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

In every other area of medicine, that loss of chance is usually enough to justify proportional recovery for whatever potential loss or causal contribution can be traced to a health professional’s misconduct. Dov Fox, Vox, "The legal limbo of lost embryos," 3 July 2019 Through a series of experiments, the Caspi lab was able to show for the first time a causal relationship between C. mast and a protective immune response. Scientific American, "Meet the Eye Microbiome," 23 June 2019 At the end, a causal change in leukocyte gene expression was observed, which is consistent with claims that being kind can actually strengthen your immune system. Brennan Kilbane, Allure, "How Random Acts of Kindness Can Improve Your Health and Wellbeing," 1 Aug. 2018 Some health conditions correlate with the balance of microbes in a person’s gut, and for a few conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, there are known causal links to onset and severity. Quanta Magazine, "Simpler Math Tames the Complexity of Microbe Networks," 19 Jan. 2018 There might even be a causal relationship between the wrinkle and success, says study co-leader and former grad student Jesse Gomez. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Study: If You Played Pokémon As a Kid, You Have Pokémon Brain As an Adult," 14 June 2019 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

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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Learn More about causal

Dictionary Entries near causal







causal necessity

Statistics for causal

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


something desired as essential

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