Formal cause
Cause Cause (k[add]z), n. [F. cause, fr. L. causa. Cf. {Cause}, v., {Kickshaw}.] 1. That which produces or effects a result; that from which anything proceeds, and without which it would not exist. [1913 Webster]

Cause is substance exerting its power into act, to make one thing begin to be. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

2. That which is the occasion of an action or state; ground; reason; motive; as, cause for rejoicing. [1913 Webster]

3. Sake; interest; advantage. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

I did it not for his cause. --2 Cor. vii. 12. [1913 Webster]

4. (Law) A suit or action in court; any legal process by which a party endeavors to obtain his claim, or what he regards as his right; case; ground of action. [1913 Webster]

5. Any subject of discussion or debate; matter; question; affair in general. [1913 Webster]

What counsel give you in this weighty cause! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. The side of a question, which is espoused, advocated, and upheld by a person or party; a principle which is advocated; that which a person or party seeks to attain. [1913 Webster]

God befriend us, as our cause is just. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

The part they take against me is from zeal to the cause. --Burke. [1913 Webster]

{Efficient cause}, the agent or force that produces a change or result.

{Final cause}, the end, design, or object, for which anything is done.

{Formal cause}, the elements of a conception which make the conception or the thing conceived to be what it is; or the idea viewed as a formative principle and co["o]perating with the matter.

{Material cause}, that of which anything is made.

{Proximate cause}. See under {Proximate}.

{To make common cause with}, to join with in purposes and aims. --Macaulay.

Syn: Origin; source; mainspring; motive; reason; incitement; inducement; purpose; object; suit; action. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Formal cause — Formal Form al (f[^o]rm al), a. [L. formalis: cf. F. formel.] 1. Belonging to the form, shape, frame, external appearance, or organization of a thing. [1913 Webster] 2. Belonging to the constitution of a thing, as distinguished from the matter… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • formal cause — See causes: material, formal, efficient, final …   Philosophy dictionary

  • formal cause — /fawr meuhl/, Aristotelianism. See under cause (def. 8b). [1350 1400; ME] * * * …   Universalium

  • formal cause —  Формальная причина …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

  • formal cause — noun in Aristotelianism : the structure, essence, or pattern that a fully realized thing embodies …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cause — • Cause, as the correlative of effect, is understood as being that which in any way gives existence to, or contributes towards the existence of, any thing; which produces a result; to which the origin of any thing is to be ascribed Catholic… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • cause — cause, causal explanation In non specialist contexts, to ask for the cause of some particular happening is to ask what made it happen, or brought it about. To give a causal explanation is to answer such questions, usually by specifying some prior …   Dictionary of sociology

  • Formal — Form al (f[^o]rm al), a. [L. formalis: cf. F. formel.] 1. Belonging to the form, shape, frame, external appearance, or organization of a thing. [1913 Webster] 2. Belonging to the constitution of a thing, as distinguished from the matter composing …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cause — (k[add]z), n. [F. cause, fr. L. causa. Cf. {Cause}, v., {Kickshaw}.] 1. That which produces or effects a result; that from which anything proceeds, and without which it would not exist. [1913 Webster] Cause is substance exerting its power into… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Formal — The term formal has a number of uses, including:General*relating to formality *opposite of informalocial* Formal occasion ** Formal attire worn on such occasions ** Formals are particular meals at some British universities ** In Australian or… …   Wikipedia

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