- 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 occasions
They thought they spotted him on at least two occasions, but he was too far away for them to grab him.Killer Eric Frein Held in Murdered Cop’s Cuffs
October 31, 2014
On some occasions as many as 60 airplanes were involved, a massive display of power backed up by as many as 500 ground personnel.The Secret NATO-Turkey War Game for ISIS
October 10, 2014
ISIS and al Qaeda bitterly split earlier this year, and have since attacked one another on occasions.Al Qaeda Plotters in Syria ‘Went Dark,’ U.S. Spies Say
September 24, 2014
He can seem on occasion morose, on other occasions petulant, and never comfortable in interviews.Imagining Prince Charles as King Makes All of Britain Wish They Could Leave Like Scotland
September 17, 2014
He is tensely and formally dressed on all occasions, with an encyclopedic memory of beer labels.Meet the Beer Bottle Dictator
August 12, 2014
On these occasions he always determined to clear out the bag.
Sidney's half-days at home were occasions for agonies of jealousy on Carlotta's part.
Linda could jest on occasions, but by nature she was a serious person.Her Father's Daughter
I have had the same thing happen on other occasions, when on short allowance of food.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
Betty, it must be owned, has an admirable memory on these occasions.Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)
- (sometimes singular) needs; necessities
- personal or business affairs
- (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 occasions
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.