What does the idiom "make common cause with sb" mean?

The expression make common cause with sb is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the make common cause with sb idiom.

Meaning of "make common cause with sb"


The idiom 'make common cause with' is used to describe an agreement between two or more people to cooperate in order to achieve a shared goal. It can also be used to describe a situation where two or more people decide to join forces, even when they previously disagreed with one another.


The phrase 'make common cause' is believed to have originated in the 16th century, when it was used to describe the efforts of a group of people who joined together to make their voices heard. The phrase was originally used to describe agreements between members of different countries or states, and was later adapted to mean joining forces within a single country. The use of the phrase to describe a situation where two or more people join forces for a common goal is thought to have first appeared in the 19th century.


The phrase 'make common cause with' is often used in conversations between friends and family, as well as in more formal situations. It is often used to stress the importance of cooperation between two or more parties to achieve a shared goal. It can also be used to describe a situation where two or more people come together to work together, even if they had previously disagreed with one another.

Example Sentences

  • We may not agree on everything, but in the interest of our shared goal, we should make common cause with each other.
  • If we are to achieve our goal, it is important that we make common cause with those who were once our enemies.
  • It takes courage to make common cause with people who don't share your beliefs.

The meanings of the words in the "make common cause with sb" idiom

The Global Spread of English Idioms

As English has become a global language, its idioms have spread far beyond the borders of the UK and USA. For instance, the idiom "beat around the bush" has equivalents in many other languages, such as "tourner autour du pot" in French and "dar vueltas al asunto" in Spanish. Meanwhile, other idioms have been adapted for local contexts, such as the Russian idiom "?? ???? ???????" (ne svoya rubashka), which translates to "not one's own shirt," meaning to be in an uncomfortable or unfamiliar situation.


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