occasional cause

noun

Definition of occasional cause

  1. 1a :  a mental state (as desire or decision) considered as the occasion but not the real cause of a physical phenomenon (as bodily behavior) b :  a physical phenomenon considered similarly as the occasion of a mental state — compare occasionalism

  2. 2 :  a circumstance that precedes an effect and that without being the real cause is the occasion of its action

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to help become familiar with something

Get Word of the Day daily email!