- 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.
verb (used with object)
- to give occasion or cause for; bring about.
- on occasion, now and then; from time to time; occasionally: She visits New York on occasion.
- (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
n.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. v.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. see on occasion; rise to the occasion.