1

occasion

noun oc·ca·sion \ ə-ˈkā-zhən \
Updated on: 1 Dec 2017

Definition of occasion

1 : a favorable opportunity or circumstance
  • did not have occasion to talk with them
2 a : a state of affairs that provides a ground or reason
  • The occasion of the discord was their mutual intolerance.
b : an occurrence or condition that brings something about; especially : the immediate inciting circumstance as distinguished from the fundamental cause
  • His insulting remark was the occasion of a bitter quarrel.
3 a : happening, incident
  • Everybody has been terribly kind since my recent sad occasion.
  • —Thomas Kelly
b : a time at which something happens : instance
  • on the occasion of his daughter's wedding
4 a : a need arising from a particular circumstance
  • knowledge for which he will never have any occasion
  • —C. H. Grandgent
b archaic : a personal want or need usually used in plural
5 occasions plural : affairs, business
  • minded his own occasions and was content for other folk to mind theirs
  • —S. H. Adams
6 : a special event or ceremony : celebration
  • birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions
on occasion
: from time to time
  • He lives in the country, though he visits the city on occasion.

Examples of occasion in a Sentence

  1. When versatility is fashion's best justification, the idea of a beautiful lace blouse or dress that can step up to a special occasion and then look just as good under a man-tailored jacket or a fine-gauge long-line cardigan the next day is persuasive. —S. MowerVogueSeptember 2008
  2. On several occasions, people have observed dark, kilometer-wide bands on the ocean surface as tsunamis approached or passed by … —S. PerkinsScience News21 Feb. 2004
  3. Not so long ago, Rolling Stone's David Fricke asked the late Kurt Cobain whom he admired among "established" rock bands. Cobain unhesitatingly named R.E.M., using the occasion to send the band members a virtual mash note for remaining true to their muse and to themselves and for refusing to be swayed by the shifting winds of fashion and commerciality. —Robert PalmerRolling Stone6 Oct. 1994
  4. To publish a definitive collection of short stories in one's late 60s seems to me, as an American writer, a traditional and a dignified occasion, eclipsed in no way by the fact that a great many of the stories in my current collection were written in my underwear. —John Cheeverin Ann Charters, The Story and Its Writer1987
  5. birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions

  6. They marked the occasion with their families.

  7. She wrote a song especially for the occasion.

  8. Roses are the perfect flower for any occasion.

  9. On the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary, they took a vacation to Paris.

  10. We had occasion to watch her perform last summer.

  11. The boys never had occasion to meet each other.

  12. She never found an occasion to suggest her ideas.

  13. He took the occasion to make an announcement.

Recent Examples of occasion from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'occasion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of occasion

Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French, from Latin occasion-, occasio, from occidere to fall, fall down, from ob- toward + cadere to fall — more at ob-, chance


2

occasion

verb oc·ca·sion \ ə-ˈkā-zhən \

Definition of occasion

occasioned; occasioning play \ə-ˈkāzh-niŋ, -ˈkā-zhə-\
transitive verb

Examples of occasion in a Sentence

  1. It was that desire that occasioned a trip to Berlin this spring: a desire to wander through the city's arty demimonde and to eat beside its residents … —Sam SiftonNew York Times22 June 2008
  2. "I made bow ties," Sally says very assuredly, after the long silence occasioned by my unwanted kiss, during which we both realized we are not about to head upstairs for any fun. —Richard FordIndependence Day1996
  3. the announcement concerning the change in scheduling occasioned much confusion

Recent Examples of occasion from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'occasion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of occasion



OCCASION Defined for English Language Learners

occasion

noun

Definition of occasion for English Language Learners

  • : a special event or time

  • : a particular time when something happens

  • : a chance or opportunity : a situation that allows something to happen


occasion

verb

Definition of occasion for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (something)


OCCASION Defined for Kids

1

occasion

noun oc·ca·sion \ ə-ˈkā-zhən \

Definition of occasion for Students

1 : a special event
  • The banquet was an elegant occasion.
2 : the time of an event
  • This has happened on more than one occasion.
3 : a suitable opportunity : a good chance
  • Take the first occasion to write.

2

occasion

verb

Definition of occasion for Students

occasioned; occasioning
: to bring about
  • … I found the point of the rocks which occasioned this disaster …
  • —Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe


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