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cause sb. (the foll. are obs. or archaic uses; 1 is a general application of the legal sense ‘subject of litigation’; 4 taken over from late Latin ‘causa’)
1. matter in dispute, affair to be decided Shr. IV. iv. 26 “a weighty cause Of love,” 2H6 III. i. 289 “What counsel give you in this weighty cause?”
2. contextually = charge, accusation Lr. IV. vi. 112 “What was thy cause? Adultery?”
3. matter of concern, affair, business LLL. V. ii. 749, H5 I. i. 45 “any cause of policy,” 1H6 V. iii. 106, R3 III. v. 65 (Ff “case”), Lucr. 1295 “The craves haste.”
4. disease All'sW. II. i. 114 “touch'd With that malignant cause,” Cor. III. i. 234 “to cure this cause.”
5. term in the practice of duelling (not yet fully explained) LLL. I. ii. 187 “The first and second cause,” AYL. V. iv. 52 “the quarrel was upon the seventh cause,” Rom. II. iv. 27.
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hide References (7 total)
  • Cross-references in text-specific dictionaries from this page (7):
    • William Shakespeare, Coriolanus, 3.1
    • William Shakespeare, King Lear, 4.6
    • William Shakespeare, As You Like It, 5.4
    • William Shakespeare, Henry V, 1.1
    • William Shakespeare, The First Part of Henry VI, 5.3
    • William Shakespeare, The Second Part of Henry VI, 3.1
    • William Shakespeare, The Rape of Lucrece
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