cause of action

noun phrase

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

Examples of cause of action in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Foster is suing Ball, MB1 Enterprises and Puma for federal and common law trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair business practices, fraud and concealment of facts and conversion (LaVar Ball is also included on the last cause of action). Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov. 2023 For the breach of contract cause of action against Shakes and the intentional interference with contractual relations action against Kebe, Hart requests $90,000 in compensatory damages and attorney fees each. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 27 Dec. 2023 The cause of action listed in the suit is gender-motivated violence. Rebecca Cohen, NBC News, 2 Nov. 2023 The essence of Adolph’s lawsuit is to permit a specific cause of action to challenge this model. David Astoria, Fortune, 28 Aug. 2023 Finally, the families of the donors may have a private cause of action against the recipient institution or against people who took the remains without permission. Tanya D. Marsh, The Conversation, 30 June 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'cause of action.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near cause of action

Cite this Entry

“Cause of action.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

Legal Definition

cause of action

: 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 profitsJ. H. Friedenthal et al.
also : the part of a suit brought on those grounds
removed the cause of action to the district court
: right of action sense 1
the court, led by Justice Brennan, said Congress intended to provide a private cause of actionNational Law Journal
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