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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Mycobacterium paratuberculosis is the causative agent of Johne's disease, a chronic enteritis in ruminants and in other animals.
▪ Regardless of the causative agent, the tremors and twitches experienced by some users of caffeine are usually harmless.
▪ The bacteria which cause periodontitis have been proposed as possible causative agents.
▪ Excessive age of the toilets was implicated as a causative factor.
▪ False perception can arise only if the nervous system has spontaneous activity independently of any causative external object.
▪ In addition, samples containing granulomatous lesions from patients with acute disease should be most likely to contain a causative pathogen.
▪ In the next section we will also discuss the loss of a morphological rule that created causative verbs from adjectives.
▪ Mycobacterium paratuberculosis is the causative agent of Johne's disease, a chronic enteritis in ruminants and in other animals.
▪ No simple causative relationship between industrialisation and the organisation of sexuality is suggested.
▪ Regardless of the causative agent, the tremors and twitches experienced by some users of caffeine are usually harmless.
▪ The causative organism, like that responsible for many cases of non-specific infection, is a member of the chlamydia group.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Causative \Caus"a*tive\, a. [L. causativus pertaining to a lawsuit (causa), but in the English sense from E. cause.]

  1. Effective, as a cause or agent; causing.

    Causative in nature of a number of effects.

  2. Expressing a cause or reason; causal; as, the ablative is a causative case.


Causative \Caus"a*tive\ (k[add]"z[.a]*t[i^]v), n. A word which expresses or suggests a cause.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

early 15c. (as a noun), from French causatif, from Latin causativus, from causa (see cause (n.)).


a. 1 Acting as a cause. 2 Expressing a cause or reason; causal. n. (context linguistics English) An expression of an agent causing or forcing a patient to perform an action (or to be in a certain condition).


adj. producing an effect; "poverty as a causative factor in crime" [ant: noncausative]


In linguistics, a causative ( abbreviated ) is a valency-increasing operation that indicates that a subject causes someone or something else to do or be something, or causes a change in state of a non- volitional event. Prototypically, it brings in a new argument (the causer), A, into a transitive clause, with the original S becoming the O.

All languages have ways to express causation but differ in the means. Most, if not all, languages have lexical causative forms (such as English riseraise, lielay, sitset). Some languages also have morphological devices (such as inflection) that change verbs into their causative forms or adjectives into verbs of becoming. Other languages employ periphrasis, with idiomatic expressions or auxiliary verbs. There tends to be a link between how "compact" a causative device is and its semantic meaning.

It is to be noted that the prototypical English causative is make rather than cause. Linguistic terms are traditionally given names with a Romance root, which has led some to believe that cause is more prototypical. While cause is a causative, it carries some lexical meaning (it implies direct causation) and is less common than make. Also, while most other English causative verbs require a to complement clause (for example, "My mom caused me to eat broccoli"), make does not for example, "My mom made me eat broccoli") at least when it is not being used in the passive.

Usage examples of "causative".

It is almost ceratin that in this minute organism, invisible to the naked eye, we have the causative agent of one of the great destroyers of the human race.

And the objects are thus perceived as related because the mind itself has related them in order to make them amenable to its handling: in other words the causative soul or mind in that other sphere is utterly alien, and the things there, supposed to be related to the content of this living whole, can be nothing to our minds.

The difficulty is that we are unable to attribute causation either to the bodies of the heavenly beings or to their wills: their bodies are excluded because the product transcends the causative power of body, their will because it would be unseemly to suppose divine beings to produce unseemliness.

Added to adjectives, it seems that this ending may similarly be used to derive causative verbs.

While neither astronomers studying galaxy formation nor human historians can manipulate their systems in controlled laboratory experiments, they both can take advantage of natural experiments, by comparing systems differing in the presence or absence (or in the strong or weak effect) of some putative causative factor.

Galen's physiological explanation for the four temperaments had been wrong, of course, and bile, choler, blood and phlegm had now been replaced as causative agents by the ascending reticular activating system and the autonomic nervous system.

Melbourne nature photographer Dee Starr suffered from this condition and identified the causative agent as a wolf spider.