because

English

Alternative forms

Etymology

From Middle English bi cause, from bi (by) + cause, modelled on Old French par cause.

Pronunciation

Adverb

because (not comparable)

  1. (archaic) For the reason (that).
    • 1611, Authorized King James Version of Genesis 2:3:
      And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
  2. On account (of), for sake (of).
    My life is ruined because of you!
  3. Used alone to refuse to provide a full answer a question begun with "why", usually taken as an anapodoton of the elided full phrase "Because I said so".

Derived terms

Translations

Conjunction

because

  1. By or for the cause that; on this account that; for the reason that.
    I hid myself because I was afraid.
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      I was about to say that I had known the Celebrity from the time he wore kilts. But I see I will have to amend that, because he was not a celebrity then, nor, indeed, did he achieve fame until some time after I left New York for the West.
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      “Perhaps it is because I have been excommunicated. It's absurd, but I feel like the Jackdaw of Rheims.”  ¶ She winced and bowed her head. Each time that he spoke flippantly of the Church he caused her pain.
  2. As is known, inferred, or determined from the fact that.
    It must be broken, because I pressed the button and nothing happened.
    I don't think he is a nice person, because he yells at people for no reason.
  3. (obsolete) So that, in order that. [15th-17th c.]
    • 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: [], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 3, member 2:
      Simon [] set the house on fire where he was born, because nobody should point at it.

Synonyms

Translations

Preposition

because

  1. (uncommon, slang, nonstandard, especially Internet) On account of, because of. [since at least the 20th century]
    I went to the store because hungry.

Derived terms

References

  • Glossa, volume 17 (1997), page 175: cf. Emonds 1976:175 on the analysis of Modern English because as a preposition introducing a clause