cause of action

noun phrase

Definition of cause of action

: the grounds (such as violation of a right) that entitle a plaintiff to bring a suit

First Known Use of cause of action

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about cause of action

Time Traveler for cause of action

Time Traveler

The first known use of cause of action was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for cause of action

Cite this Entry

“Cause of action.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for cause of action

cause of action

Legal Definition of cause of action

1 : the grounds (as violation of a right) that entitle a plaintiff to bring a suit an amended pleading reiterating a cause of action for lost profits— J. H. Friedenthal et al. also : the part of a suit brought on those grounds removed the cause of action to the district court
2 : right of action sense 1 the court, led by Justice Brennan, said Congress intended to provide a private cause of actionNational Law Journal

Comments on cause of action

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!