Share this entry

causative Syllabification: caus·a·tive
Pronunciation: /ˈkôzədiv/

Definition of causative in English:


1Acting as a cause: a causative factor
More example sentences
  • The general consensus, therefore, was to promote preventive pulmonology which laid stress on motivating the victims to stop smoking which was a major causative factor in almost 90 per cent of the cases.
  • The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed that the virus is the primary causative agent, but experts say much laboratory work still needs to be done to pinpoint its exact characteristics.
  • Cigarettes are the main causative factors for lung, oral, oesophageal, stomach, bladder, kidney, pancreas and cervical cancer.
1.1 Grammar Expressing causation: a causative verb
More example sentences
  • However, there's a general pattern in English of pairs of inchoative and causative meanings for verbs.
  • On the one hand, the fact that many causative action verbs imply a means - end structure to the actions they describe seems to favour analysis.
  • Although Eric seems to assume the experiencer sense, I'm going to make the causative sense explicit.


Back to top  
A causative verb.
Example sentences
  • What is more, even when this distinction has been drawn, the denotations of the gerundive phrases often remain ambiguous, especially when the verbs whose nominalizations appear in these phrases are causatives.


Late Middle English: from Old French causatif, -ive, or late Latin causativus, from causare 'to cause'.

Definition of causative in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day luxe
Pronunciation: ləks
expensive and of high quality; luxurious