Top 33 Slang For Causing – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to expressing the act of causing a stir or commotion, language evolves rapidly to keep up with the times. In this listicle, we’ve rounded up the latest and most trendy slang terms for causing, guaranteed to add a spark to your vocabulary. Let’s dive in and explore these expressions that will have you causing a buzz in no time!

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1. Trigger

To trigger means to cause something to happen or set off a chain of events. It can also refer to causing an emotional response or reaction in someone.

  • For example, “His careless comment triggered a heated argument.”
  • In a discussion about allergies, someone might say, “Pollen can trigger my allergies.”
  • A psychologist might explain, “Certain sights or sounds can trigger traumatic memories in individuals with PTSD.”

2. Spark

To spark means to initiate or start something, often with a burst of energy or excitement. It can also refer to causing a sudden emotional or intellectual response in someone.

  • For instance, “Their performance sparked a standing ovation from the audience.”
  • In a conversation about creativity, someone might say, “A walk in nature can often spark new ideas.”
  • A teacher might encourage their students by saying, “Let’s spark a lively discussion with this thought-provoking question.”

3. Incite

To incite means to encourage, provoke, or stimulate someone to take action, often in a negative or disruptive way. It can also refer to causing strong emotions or reactions in others.

  • For example, “The politician’s speech incited a riot.”
  • In a discussion about social movements, someone might say, “They used their platform to incite change.”
  • A journalist might report, “The controversial article incited a heated debate among readers.”

4. Prompt

To prompt means to cause or bring about a response or reaction, often by asking a question or providing a stimulus. It can also refer to causing someone to take action or do something quickly.

  • For instance, “The teacher prompted the students to answer the question.”
  • In a customer service scenario, someone might say, “A polite reminder can prompt customers to leave a review.”
  • A parent might use a timer to prompt their child to complete a task within a specific timeframe.

5. Instigate

To instigate means to initiate or start something, often with the intention of causing trouble or conflict. It can also refer to urging or encouraging someone to do something, especially something negative or harmful.

  • For example, “He instigated a fight by insulting the other person.”
  • In a conversation about workplace dynamics, someone might say, “Gossip can instigate tension and mistrust.”
  • A news article might report, “The controversial decision by the government instigated protests across the country.”

6. Elicit

To elicit means to draw out or evoke a response or reaction from someone or something. It is often used when discussing the act of getting a specific reaction or information from someone or something.

  • For example, “The detective was able to elicit a confession from the suspect.”
  • In a psychology experiment, a researcher might say, “The goal of this study is to elicit emotional responses from the participants.”
  • A teacher might ask, “Can you elicit the correct answer from the class?”

7. Provoke

To provoke means to incite or stimulate a reaction or response, often intentionally. It is used when discussing actions or behaviors that intentionally cause a reaction from someone or something.

  • For instance, “His rude comment provoked an angry response from the crowd.”
  • In a political debate, one might say, “The candidate’s controversial statement was meant to provoke a strong reaction.”
  • A parent might warn their child, “Don’t let your sibling’s teasing provoke you.”

8. Generate

To generate means to create or produce something, often with the intention of causing a specific outcome or result. It is used when discussing the act of producing or creating something.

  • For example, “The machine can generate electricity from solar power.”
  • In a business context, one might say, “We need to generate more leads to increase sales.”
  • A scientist might explain, “The chemical reaction will generate a new compound.”

9. Stir up

To stir up means to incite or provoke a reaction or response, often by causing a disturbance or commotion. It is used when discussing actions or behaviors that cause a reaction or response, typically in a negative or disruptive way.

  • For instance, “His inflammatory remarks stirred up controversy.”
  • In a protest, someone might shout, “Let’s stir up some change!”
  • A troublemaker might be accused of trying to stir up trouble.
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10. Kickstart

To kickstart means to begin or start something, often with the intention of causing momentum or progress. It is used when discussing the act of initiating or starting something.

  • For example, “We need to kickstart this project to get it off the ground.”
  • In a fitness context, one might say, “I need to kickstart my exercise routine.”
  • A motivational speaker might encourage their audience to “kickstart their dreams.”

11. Galvanize

To galvanize means to motivate or inspire someone to take action or to stimulate a reaction.

  • For example, “The powerful speech by the activist galvanized the crowd to join the protest.”
  • A leader might say, “We need to galvanize our team to achieve our goals.”
  • A teacher might use the word in a sentence like, “The teacher’s enthusiasm galvanized her students to participate in the class discussion.”

12. Spur

To spur means to prompt or encourage someone to do something, especially to take action or make progress.

  • For instance, “The coach’s pep talk spurred the team to give their best performance.”
  • A parent might say, “I hope this success will spur my child to pursue their dreams.”
  • In a business context, a manager might say, “We need to spur innovation in order to stay ahead of the competition.”

13. Propel

To propel means to drive or push something forward, often with great force or speed.

  • For example, “The strong wind propelled the sailboat across the lake.”
  • A scientist might say, “The discovery of new technology has propelled the field of medicine forward.”
  • In a sports context, a commentator might say, “His incredible speed propelled him to victory in the race.”

14. Rouse

To rouse means to awaken or stir up someone’s emotions, feelings, or actions.

  • For instance, “The powerful speech by the civil rights leader roused the audience to fight for justice.”
  • A friend might say, “Let’s go out and do something fun to rouse your spirits.”
  • In a political context, a candidate might say, “I will rouse the people to demand change.”

15. Kindle

To kindle means to ignite or spark something, often referring to emotions, interests, or passions.

  • For example, “The romantic movie kindled their love for each other.”
  • A book lover might say, “Reading this novel kindled my imagination.”
  • In a creative context, an artist might say, “Nature often kindles my inspiration for my paintings.”

16. Set off

To cause or initiate something, often with sudden or dramatic effect. “Set off” is a colloquial term used to describe the act of starting or provoking a particular event or reaction.

  • For example, a loud noise might set off a car alarm.
  • A person might say, “Her comment really set off a heated argument.”
  • In a discussion about allergies, someone might mention, “Pollen can set off my seasonal allergies.”

17. Foment

To encourage or stimulate the development of something, especially negative or harmful. “Foment” is a more formal term used to describe the act of provoking or promoting a particular action or feeling.

  • For instance, a politician might foment unrest among the population to gain support for their cause.
  • A person discussing social movements might say, “Protest leaders often use social media to foment action.”
  • An activist might argue, “We need to foment change in our community by raising awareness about the issue.”

18. Drive

To cause or motivate someone to take a particular action or behave in a certain way. “Drive” is a commonly used term to describe the act of pushing or compelling someone to do something.

  • For example, a teacher might drive their students to work harder by setting high expectations.
  • A person discussing motivation might say, “Intrinsic motivation can drive individuals to achieve their goals.”
  • A coach might encourage their team by saying, “Let’s drive for success and give it our all.”

19. Precipitate

To cause something to happen suddenly or unexpectedly. “Precipitate” is a more formal term used to describe the act of bringing about a particular event or outcome.

  • For instance, a small disagreement can precipitate a full-blown argument.
  • A person might say, “His decision to quit his job precipitated a series of unfortunate events.”
  • In a discussion about climate change, someone might mention, “Rising temperatures can precipitate extreme weather events.”

20. Activate

To cause a device or system to start functioning or operating. “Activate” is a commonly used term to describe the act of turning on or starting something.

  • For example, pressing a button can activate a machine.
  • A person might say, “Don’t forget to activate your alarm system before leaving the house.”
  • In a discussion about technology, someone might mention, “Voice commands can activate certain features on your smartphone.”

21. Engender

To cause or give rise to a particular situation or feeling. “Engender” is often used to describe the act of creating or producing something.

  • For example, “His speech engendered a sense of hope among the audience.”
  • A discussion about social change might involve the phrase, “We need to engender a sense of unity and understanding.”
  • In a scientific context, one might say, “This experiment aims to engender new insights into the behavior of cells.”

22. Induce

To bring about or cause something to happen. “Induce” is often used to describe the act of persuading or influencing someone or something.

  • For instance, “The medication can induce drowsiness as a side effect.”
  • A person might say, “I can induce laughter by telling funny jokes.”
  • In a discussion about labor, one might mention, “Doctors can induce childbirth if necessary.”

23. Evoke

To bring a memory, feeling, or image to the conscious mind. “Evoke” is often used to describe the act of eliciting a strong emotional response or creating a vivid mental image.

  • For example, “The song evokes feelings of nostalgia.”
  • A writer might aim to evoke a sense of wonder in their readers through vivid descriptions.
  • In a discussion about art, one might say, “This painting evokes a sense of tranquility.”

24. Arouse

To awaken or excite a particular emotion, interest, or reaction. “Arouse” is often used to describe the act of stimulating or provoking a response.

  • For instance, “The movie aroused fear in the audience.”
  • A person might say, “Her speech aroused a sense of anger among the listeners.”
  • In a discussion about attraction, one might mention, “Certain scents can arouse feelings of desire.”

25. Excite

To cause strong feelings of enthusiasm, anticipation, or exhilaration. “Excite” is often used to describe the act of generating excitement or creating a sense of anticipation.

  • For example, “The news of the concert excited the fans.”
  • A person might say, “I’m excited to try out this new recipe.”
  • In a discussion about sports, one might mention, “The team’s performance excited the crowd.”

26. Trigger off

To cause something to happen or start. “Trigger off” is a slang term used to describe the act of initiating or starting an event or action.

  • For example, “His comment triggered off a heated debate.”
  • In a discussion about sensitive topics, someone might say, “Please be careful with your words, as they can trigger off negative emotions.”
  • A news headline might read, “Controversial decision triggers off protests across the country.”

27. Kick off

To begin or initiate something. “Kick off” is a slang term used to describe the act of starting or commencing an event or action.

  • For instance, “Let’s kick off the meeting with a brief introduction.”
  • At a sports game, the announcer might say, “The match is about to kick off.”
  • A party host might announce, “The festivities are about to kick off, so grab a drink and join the fun!”

28. Initiate

To start or begin something. “Initiate” is a formal term used to describe the act of causing or starting an event or action.

  • For example, “He initiated the project by outlining the goals and objectives.”
  • In a discussion about leadership, someone might say, “A good leader knows how to initiate positive change.”
  • A teacher might instruct their students, “Please raise your hand before speaking to initiate a respectful conversation.”

29. Cause

To bring about or bring forth a particular result or outcome. “Cause” is a common term used to describe the act of causing or initiating something.

  • For instance, “His reckless behavior caused the accident.”
  • In a debate about climate change, someone might argue, “Human activities are causing global warming.”
  • A parent might say to their child, “Your actions have consequences, so think before you cause harm.”

30. Start

To begin or initiate something. “Start” is a basic term used to describe the act of causing or initiating an event or action.

  • For example, “Let’s start the meeting with a quick update.”
  • At a race, the announcer might say, “On your marks, get set, start!”
  • A chef might instruct their sous chef, “Start by chopping the onions for the soup.”

31. Sow the seeds

This phrase means to initiate or start something that will eventually lead to a certain outcome or result. It is often used metaphorically to describe the process of starting or instigating a chain of events.

  • For example, a teacher might say, “I want to sow the seeds of curiosity in my students.”
  • A business owner might say, “We need to sow the seeds of innovation to stay ahead of the competition.”
  • A parent might say, “I hope to sow the seeds of kindness and empathy in my children.”

32. Nudge

To nudge means to give a small, gentle push or encouragement to someone or something in order to initiate a certain action or outcome. It is often used metaphorically to describe the act of subtly influencing or persuading someone.

  • For instance, a friend might say, “I’ll nudge him to ask her out on a date.”
  • In a meeting, someone might say, “Let’s nudge the discussion towards finding a solution.”
  • A parent might nudge their child to try a new food by saying, “Just take a small bite, you might like it.”

33. Stir

To stir means to mix or agitate something, often with a utensil or by hand. In a metaphorical sense, it can mean to incite or provoke a reaction or response from someone or something.

  • For example, a chef might say, “Stir the ingredients together until well combined.”
  • In a heated argument, someone might say, “Don’t stir the pot any further, it’s already tense.”
  • A news article might stir public outrage by exposing a scandal or injustice.
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