Definition of because in English:



  • 1For the reason that; since.

    ‘we did it because we felt it our duty’
    ‘just because I'm inexperienced doesn't mean that I lack perception’
    • ‘We were at a loss because if we had known how to obtain a disc, we would have done so.’
    • ‘Apparently she went into a pub because she had no change in her purse to call me back.’
    • ‘He said he wanted to talk to me but I rejected him because it was so early in the morning.’
    • ‘We are not going to take them down because if we take them down we will be letting our kids down.’
    • ‘So far the council has sold us down the river each time because it is strapped for cash.’
    • ‘They want me to move my van from where I park it because they want to fence off the area.’
    • ‘We must have looked cold because one of her minders came out and asked us in for a cup of tea and a bit of cake.’
    • ‘The thieves ordered him to open the safe, but because it was on a time lock he could not.’
    • ‘They are often put off going to toddler groups because it is mainly mums who go to them.’
    • ‘It will take so long because the site has a slope and the ground needs to be levelled.’
    • ‘He said the car was a lifeline because he was disabled and his wife was the main driver.’
    • ‘Have you been unable to put a book down because you just have to know what happens next?’
    • ‘Up until then it had been very hard on some levels because my family moved around a lot.’
    • ‘We as adults do not lash out at one another just because we don't do as each other wants.’
    • ‘My wife and I regularly go into town to shop or to walk around because we love it so much.’
    • ‘He did not appear at the hearing but said he did not pay because the firm could not afford it.’
    • ‘Old Town is liked because it shows how Swindon used to be and we wanted to fit in with that.’
    • ‘The reason for this is because they had been trying for a baby for the last few years.’
    • ‘Everyone is throwing their hat in the ring because this is the last chance to do a deal.’
    • ‘The reason the party is in this mess is because it has not been honest with the voters.’
    since, as, for the reason that, in view of the fact that, owing to the fact that, seeing as, seeing that
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1informal Used to introduce a word or phrase that stands for a clause expressing an explanation or reason.
      ‘there's probably somebody out there who would argue the point because Internet’
      ‘making a bag of popcorn with hot sauce for lunch because hungry’
      • ‘I hope that wasn't the total reveal. Because meh.’
      • ‘I basically have to get a new computer now because aarrgh.’
      • ‘Physically in pain because sun burn.’
      • ‘I almost went to bed with my contacts in because tired.’
      • ‘Not sure if I'm upset because anxiety or upset because tired.’
      • ‘Rewatching Breaking Bad because awesome.’
      • ‘Had to leave the office because laughing too loudly.’
      • ‘I'm at the park with my guitar because sad.’
      • ‘I hate when you make some money but it's already spent because bills.’
      • ‘Can't wait for summer because parties in my backyard’
      • ‘Mom is actually about to get a new job and a lot more money, and I am excited because shopping trips!’
      • ‘So many books I want to read and TV series/films I want to watch but can't because revision.’


When because follows a negative construction the meaning can be ambiguous. In the sentence he did not go because he was ill, for example, it is not clear whether it means either ‘the reason he did not go was that he was ill’ or ‘being ill wasn't the reason for him going; there was another reason’. Some usage guides recommend using a comma when the first interpretation is intended (he did not go, because he was ill) and no comma where the second interpretation is intended, but in general it is probably safest to try to avoid such constructions altogether. As with other conjunctions such as but and and, it is still widely held that it is incorrect to begin a sentence with because. It has, however, long been used in this way in both written and spoken English (typically for rhetorical effect), and is quite acceptable. On the construction the reason … is because, see reason. See also and and since


  • because of

    • On account of; by reason of.

      ‘they moved here because of the baby’
      • ‘They waded towards the car but could not reach it because of the depth of the water.’
      • ‘Lives are being put at risk in a village because of a plague of pigeons, a woman has claimed.’
      • ‘It would be a great shame if we ever had to lock our churches because of vandalism.’
      • ‘It was a lovely day but because of the slight breeze we had not realised quite how hot it must have been.’
      • ‘We hate to think that the reason we are the way we are is because of our genes, for example.’
      • ‘The loss of a handful of email messages because of a technical glitch is an irritation.’
      • ‘Some would even say the only reason they go to watch Tranmere is because of Iain alone.’
      • ‘Name a store or restaurant you no longer visit because of a bad experience you had there.’
      • ‘After a couple of years we closed down because of lack of interest by adults in the village.’
      • ‘Four games were abandoned because of bad light but in the main the league got off to a good start.’
      • ‘He did not like them because of the offences they had committed and he wanted a transfer.’
      • ‘Was this because of the food or were the jumpers on display in the shop the magnet?’
      • ‘He had to stop work as a retail assistant at Iceland in Rochdale because of ill health.’
      • ‘I hate that image, not because of what it stood for but what it always reminded me of.’
      • ‘He also has a broad basis of support because of his background as a trade union official.’
      • ‘Some airport staff were unable to make it into work on time because of huge traffic jams.’
      • ‘Houston said that a number of planes had crashed in the past because of trim problems.’
      • ‘My mole at Camden said last summer they wouldn't get one now because of the bus stop.’
      • ‘You have mentioned it a number of times that the reason the load is low is because of the cap.’
      • ‘The obvious point being that they were not siding with them because of those values.’
      on account of, as a result of, as a consequence of, owing to, by reason of, on grounds of, by dint of, due to
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Middle English: from the phrase by cause, influenced by Old French par cause de ‘by reason of’.