oc·​ca·​sion·​al | \ ə-ˈkāzh-nəl How to pronounce occasional (audio) , -ˈkā-zhə-nᵊl \

Definition of occasional

1a : of or relating to a particular occasion a budget able to meet occasional demands as well as regular ones
b : created for a particular occasion occasional verse occasional music
2 : acting as the occasion or contributing cause of something occasional causes for creating apparent effects
3 : encountered, occurring, appearing, or taken at irregular or infrequent intervals occasional visitors an occasional vacation found occasional errors occasional episodes of chest pain
4 : acting in a specified capacity from time to time an occasional lecturer an occasional essayist
5 : designed or constructed to be used as the occasion demands occasional furniture

Examples of occasional in a Sentence

She receives occasional phone calls from her mother. There will be occasional showers during the morning. Most mornings, we'll see deer or the occasional bear walking past our house. He tells an occasional joke to keep his students interested. I need to take occasional breaks from work. Sure, I drink an occasional glass of wine from time to time. She's an occasional lecturer at the university. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The historical records are full of occasional blips when temperatures soared. Sabrina Shankman, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Aug. 2022 For occasional visitors, Newgrounds was infamous for animated celebrity deaths and violent stick figures, but insiders knew where to find the good stuff. Wired, 8 Aug. 2022 Pittsburgh won Game 7 of the World Series at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium in 1971 and 1979, but the Pirates are just 1-11 in their occasional visits to Camden Yards. Noah Trister, ajc, 7 Aug. 2022 Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy are sources of occasional power. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 7 Aug. 2022 That means consistently being one of the Big Ten’s better teams mixed with the occasional run in March. Stephen Means, cleveland, 7 Aug. 2022 Today, even as Wilson works full time and tackles the occasional musical, his down time finds him back at a familiar place. Werner Trieschmann, Arkansas Online, 7 Aug. 2022 The rescue dog will be a regular fixture around T-Mobile Park and for occasional road games, according to the Mariners' official website. Richard Morin, USA TODAY, 7 Aug. 2022 Xi Jinping’s governments have sparred on human rights, trade, competition and countless other issues but avoided direct conflict and maintained occasional top-level contacts toward other matters, including cutting climate-damaging emissions. Ellen Knickmeyer, Zeke Miller, David Rising, Anchorage Daily News, 6 Aug. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of occasional

1611, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for occasional

Middle English occasyonal "occurring at intervals," borrowed from Medieval Latin occāsiōnālis "opportune, incidental," from occāsiōn-, occāsiō occasion entry 1 + Latin -ālis -al entry 1

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Time Traveler for occasional

Time Traveler

The first known use of occasional was in 1611

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Dictionary Entries Near occasional



occasional cause

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Statistics for occasional

Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Occasional.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occasional. Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for occasional


oc·​ca·​sion·​al | \ ə-ˈkā-zhə-nᵊl How to pronounce occasional (audio) \

Kids Definition of occasional

: happening or met with now and then They went to an occasional movie.

Other Words from occasional

occasionally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on occasional

Nglish: Translation of occasional for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occasional for Arabic Speakers


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