From Latin causa 1) to make something happen. 2) the reason something happens. a cause implies what is called a “causal connection” as distinguished from events which may occur but do not have any effect on later events. example: while driving his convertible, johnny youngblood begins to stare at pretty sally golightly, who is standing on the sidewalk. while so distracted he veers into a car parked at the curb. johnny’s inattention (negligence) is the cause of the accident, and neither sally nor her beauty is the cause. 3) short for cause of action.