[ uh-key-zhuh-nl ]
/ əˈkeɪ ʒə nl /


occurring or appearing at irregular or infrequent intervals; occurring now and then: an occasional headache.
intended for supplementary use when needed: an occasional chair.
pertaining to, arising out of, or intended for the occasion: occasional verses.
acting or serving for the occasion or only on particular occasions.
serving as the occasion or incidental cause.

Nearby words

  1. occam,
  2. occam's razor,
  3. occam, william of,
  4. occas.,
  5. occasion,
  6. occasional licence,
  7. occasional table,
  8. occasionalism,
  9. occasionally,
  10. occasions

Origin of occasional

First recorded in 1560–70; occasion + -al1

Related formsoc·ca·sion·al·ness, oc·ca·sion·al·i·ty, nounun·oc·ca·sion·al, adjectiveun·oc·ca·sion·al·ly, adverb

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for occasional

British Dictionary definitions for occasional


/ (əˈkeɪʒənəl) /


taking place from time to time; not frequent or regular
of, for, or happening on special occasions
serving as an occasion (for something)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for occasional



late 14c., "occurring now and then," from occasion (n.) + -al (1). Meaning "casual" is 1560s. Meaning "happening on or pertaining to a particular occasion" is from 1630s. Of furniture, etc., from 1749.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper