When A is correlated with B, it means A shares 1 or more properties with B

On the other hand, if A causes B, it means there's a causation between them.²

What I would like to know is the word that fills in the blank, as follows:

The storm clouds were correlated with the death of my loved one because she died within 5 minutes of them appearing. But the dagger in her back was __________ with the tragedy because it was found to cause fatal blood loss.

In other words, what is the verb form of causation? I know cause fits, but that doesn't always work. For instance, in a chain of events A, B, C, D... and so forth, unless I set two different definitions for the verb, cause, I won't necessarily be able to know whether I'm talking about what Element F did to Element G or about the number of direct causal relationships there are among some number of these elements.

I looked on the OED (click small insert to enlarge):

OED Screenshot

and saw that causate might be the case, but found it's not because I'm not looking for a word that means "to cause", merely "to have a causal relationship with".

Basically, I want to know the opposite of the phrase, is correlated with.

¹ For example, if a leaf is green and so is your car, they are correlated because they both share the same colour property. If you went to the store at the same time a storm happened, your trip to the store would correlate with the storm because their time value would be identical.

(Of course, as the trip to the store did not cause or imply the coming of the storm, nor had the leaf being green caused or implied your car to be green, this correlation does not imply a causation between them.)

² Strictly formulated, it would be that a change in 1 or more properties in A directly produces a change in 1 or more properties in B.

  • 1
    Please give an example of something that is in a causal relationship with something else, but does not cause it.
    – phoog
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 3:57
  • Welcome to ELU, Sarah. Linguistically, the analogy of your title is completed with the verb caus[at]e. Clearly, that is inconsistent with the internal contradictions of your question and comments. It seems strange to me that you would berate others for their sincere attempts to help you. Examining and testing semantics one of the reasons we post comments and answers here, so we don't consider that a waste of time. You may not be ready to appreciate the semantics until you have grasped the fundamental logical and scientific concepts that befuddle you.
    – ScotM
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 21:32
  • @ScotM: You're right that my behaviour it was rude of me. I feel bad about it and I sincerely apologise for all of it. I got defencive and it was uncalled for. I guess I felt kind of attacked, to some degree, like the others thought I was stupid or something for supposedly not knowing something like this. Also, upon reëxamining my question, I feel my wording could have been a lot better. So in light of this, I'll rephrase it, hopefully making it clearer what exactly I'm asking. Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 10:38
  • @phoog: Please note that when I said causal relationship, I wasn't saying it in the sense that A causes B; I was saying it in the sense that some group of elements in a given system is interacting, directly or indirectly, in some way, through cause-and-effect processes. That is it. (1/3) Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 10:39
  • So, for example, if I hit a hammer on a plank of wood, some of its momentum will transfer into the wood upon impact. Then, as the momentum flows through the wood, the vibrations will propagate from one cubic centimetre of said wood to the next for however long. Each step in this causal chain of events, A, B, C, D... and so forth, is an element in this causal system. (2/3). Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 10:39

1 Answer 1


There are a least three questions here, one of which should be posted on Philosophy SE. Yet, in case this answers the question you are asking, here is a list of verbs in order of intensity describing a causal relationship between A and B.

A influences B
contributes to

  • Except all these (except for "undelies"; I couldn't find any definition for that) implies directionality. I'm looking for one that is opposite of "correlated with". Instead of "A is correlated with B", it'd be "A is [...] with B". Just because A is correlated with B doesn't mean that B can't be correlated with A. I'm looking for a word that denotes a nondirectionally specific causal interaction. Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 2:37
  • Also, how in the world is my question philosophical? I'm looking for a word here, not to argue semantics. Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 2:38
  • 1
    @SarahofGaia. I think your question is valuable and I therefore upvoted it. 'Undelies' is a typo for underlies, apologies. As Vladkornea's linked page shows, correlation does not imply causation: therefore causation should not be assumed. 'Non-causal correlation' is what you are rejecting; 'causal correlation' is probably the phrase you are looking for. Good luck with your search.
    – Hugh
    Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 14:41
  • I'm not looking for a phrase, but a word, specifically a verb. And no, my wording just bad. I know the difference between causality and correlation. Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 10:38
  • "...but the dagger in her back effected the tragedy, because..." ?? I'll keep looking.
    – Hugh
    Commented Jul 16, 2015 at 12:23

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