cau·​sa·​tion | \ kȯ-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce causation (audio) \

Definition of causation

1a : the act or process of causing the role of heredity in the causation of cancer
b : the act or agency which produces an effect in a complex situation causation is likely to be multiple— W. O. Aydelotte
2 : causality

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Examples of causation in a Sentence

the role of heredity in the causation of cancer He claimed that the accident caused his injury, but the court ruled that he did not provide sufficient evidence of causation.

Recent Examples on the Web

In the legal battles targeting companies that made or used PFAS, proving direct causation of harm has been hard to prove. Bruce Finley, The Denver Post, "Colorado ramps up response to toxic “forever chemicals” after discovery of hot spots across metro Denver," 10 Sep. 2019 But the researchers didn't find causation, just that a link exists between the two. Leah Asmelash And Brian Ries, CNN, "Broken heart syndrome and cancer are connected, scientists say," 18 July 2019 Our latest Insights puzzle attempted to model multifactorial causation with problems that involved three causal factors whose different types of interactions either produced or did not produce an effect. Quanta Magazine, "Solution: ‘The Slippery Math of Causation’," 29 June 2018 Studies included in the new review looked for correlation, not causation, meaning that researchers couldn't prove that e-cigarettes directly caused increases in cannabis use. Arman Azad, CNN, "Vaping linked to marijuana use in young people, research says," 12 Aug. 2019 There is clearly more correlation than causation at work with DJ Lo’s playlist and the Loons’ recent success. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "A winning vibe: Minnesota United’s success correlates to new DJ’s playlist," 9 Aug. 2019 Gaddie said this drop is potentially due to reports not yet being concluded and causations not being declared yet. Jake Hutchison, The Mercury News, "393 vehicle-started wildfires reported in Butte County from 2012-2018," 1 Aug. 2019 In its order, the federal court granted 3M’s request to exclude the plaintiffs’ general causation experts, leaving the plaintiffs with no scientific support for their claims. News Services, Twin Cities, "3M: 5,000 Bair Hugger lawsuits dismissed by Minnesota federal court," 2 Aug. 2019 Most studies, the authors found, used small sample sizes or employed a cross-sectional design, which isn’t able to determine causation. Sara Talpos, Quartz, "The dangers of energy drinks can be fatal—especially for teens," 10 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'causation.' 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 causation

1615, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for causation

borrowed from Medieval Latin causātiōn-, causātiō "accusation, objection, causal action," going back to Latin, "plea, excuse," from causārī "to plead an action in law, plead as an excuse" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at cause entry 2

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Statistics for causation

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for causation

The first known use of causation was in 1615

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More Definitions for causation



English Language Learners Definition of causation

: the act or process of causing something to happen or exist
: the relationship between an event or situation and a possible reason or cause


cau·​sa·​tion | \ kȯ-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce causation (audio) \

Legal Definition of causation

1a : the act or process of causing proof of objective causation of injury by the perpetrator— Alan Freeman
b : the act or agency that produces an effect evidence was presented on doctor's malpractice…for…proof of causationNational Law Journal if plaintiffs could establish…that the caps were manufactured by one of the defendants, the burden of proof as to causation would shift to all the defendantsSindell v. Abbott Laboratories, 607 P.2d 924 (1980)
2 : the relation between cause and effect especially as an element to be proven in a tort or criminal case must be “legal” causation between the acts and the results— W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr. — see also chain of causation

More from Merriam-Webster on causation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with causation

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for causation

Britannica English: Translation of causation for Arabic Speakers

Comments on causation

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


concealment of treason or felony

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