- a particular time, especially as marked by certain circumstances or occurrences: They met on three occasions.
- a special or important time, event, ceremony, celebration, etc.: His birthday will be quite an occasion.
- a convenient or favorable time, opportunity, or juncture: This slack period would be a good occasion to take inventory.
- the immediate or incidental cause or reason for some action or result: What is the occasion for this uproar?
- (in the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead) the coincidence of the eternal objects forming a specific point-event.
- occasions, Obsolete.
- needs or necessities.
- necessary business matters: to go about one's lawful occasions.
- to give occasion or cause for; bring about.
- on occasion, now and then; from time to time; occasionally: She visits New York on occasion.
Origin of occasion
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for occasion
To Hitchcock, this is not a sweet wire from an old colleague but a condolence letter on the occasion of his own death.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
It was also an occasion for voluptuary displays of tough-mindedness.The Media's Pro-Torture Cheerleaders
December 10, 2014
But the occasion is even more special when you can cheers with some funky flutes.The Daily Beast’s 2014 Holiday Gift Guide: For the Carrie Bradshaw in Your Life
November 29, 2014
The government defines excessive drinking as drinking too much on one occasion over the course of a week.Americans Drink Too Much, But We’re Not All Alcoholics
November 25, 2014
It was both stylish and somber while being suitably grand for the formality of the occasion.Kate Middleton, the Preggers Fashion Princess
November 14, 2014
I had a warm regard for your father, and shall be glad to help your mother if there is any occasion.Brave and Bold
To Alec Haskell I shall in this discourse again have occasion to refer.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
I never had occasion to check or to use an angry word to one of my party.Explorations in Australia
It must have been written for the occasion, for the sentiment of it was in accordance with the prayer.
You shall all have your directions in writing, if there be occasion.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
- (sometimes foll by of) the time of a particular happening or event
- (sometimes foll by for) a reason or cause (to do or be something); groundsthere was no occasion to complain
- an opportunity (to do something); chance
- a special event, time, or celebrationthe party was quite an occasion
- on occasion every so often
- rise to the occasion to have the courage, wit, etc, to meet the special demands of a situation
- take occasion to avail oneself of an opportunity (to do something)
- (tr) to bring about, esp incidentally or by chance
Word Origin and History for occasion
late 14c., "opportunity; grounds for action, state of affairs that makes something else possible; a happening, occurrence," from Old French ochaison, ocasion "cause, reason, excuse, pretext; opportunity" (13c.) or directly from Latin occasionem (nominative occasio) "opportunity, appropriate time," in Late Latin "cause," from occasum, occasus, past participle of occidere "fall down, go down," from ob "down, away" (see ob-) + cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). The notion is of a "falling together," or juncture, of circumstances.
mid-15c., "to bring (something) about," from occasion (n.), or else from Old French occasionner "to cause," from Medieval Latin occasionare, from Latin occasionem (see occasion (n.)). Related: Occasioned; occasioning.