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Alternative forms[edit]


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


  • (stressed)
  • (unstressed)
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒz
  • Hyphenation: be‧cause


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).
    I ruined my life because of you!
  3. Used alone to refuse to provide a full answer a question begun with "why", often taken as an ellipsis of "Because I said so".

Derived terms[edit]




  1. By or for the cause that; on this account that; for the reason that.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, The Celebrity:
      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.
    • 2013 May-June, Katrina G. Claw, “Rapid Evolution in Eggs and Sperm”, American Scientist, volume 101, number 3: 
      In plants, the ability to recognize self from nonself plays an important role in fertilization, because self-fertilization will result in less diverse offspring than fertilization with pollen from another individual.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 17, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      “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.
    I hid myself because I was afraid.
  2. As is known, inferred, or determined from the fact that.
    It must be broken, because I pressed the button and nothing happened.
    He's not a nice guy, because he yells at people for no reason.
  3. (obsolete) So that, in order that. [15th-17th c.]





  1. (uncommon, slang, chiefly Internet) On account of, because of. [since at least the 20th century]
    • 2012 October 20, "D.F. Manno" (username), GOP deadbeat dad: No abortion exceptions because SCIENCE!, in, Usenet
    • 2013 November 19, Megan Garber, English Has a New Preposition, Because Internet:
      Linguists are recognizing the delightful evolution of the word "because."
      Let's start with the dull stuff, because pragmatism.
    • 2013 December 6, Donald Glover (Childish Gambino), Because the Internet

Derived terms[edit]



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