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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
  • Rhymes: -ɑːz


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.
    I hid myself because I was afraid.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 1, in 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”, in 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, in 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.
  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]


Most common English words before 1923: between · face · tell · #175: because · few · whom · love


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