Definitions from Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition and Ballentine's Law Dictionary as are available for each term in each dictionary.
  • Ballentine's Law Dictionary

    A right to sue.

  • Black's Law Dictionary: 2nd Edition

    Matter for which an action may be brought. The ground on which an action may be sustained. The right to bring a suit. Cause of action is properly the ground on which an action can be maintained; as when wesay that such a person has no cause of action. But the phrase is often used to signify the matter of the complaint or claim on which a given action is in fact grounded, whether or not legally maintainable. Moziey & Whitley. It sometimes means a person having a right of action. Thus, where a legacy is left to a married woman, and she and her husband bring an action to recover it, she is called in the old books the "meritorious cause of action." 1 H. Bl. 108. The term is synonymous with right of action, right of recovery. Graham v. Scripfure, 26 How. Prae. (N. Y.) 501. Cause of action is not synonymous with chose in action; the latter includes debts, etc., not due, and even stocks. Bank of Commerce v. Rutland & W. R. Co., 10 How. Prac. (N. Y.) i.