NounWhen 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. Mower, Vogue, September 2008On several occasions, people have observed dark, kilometer-wide bands on the ocean surface as tsunamis approached or passed by … S. Perkins, Science News, 21 Feb. 2004Not 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 Palmer, Rolling Stone, 6 Oct. 1994To 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 Cheever, in Ann Charters, The Story and Its Writer, 1987
birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions
They marked the occasion with their families.
She wrote a song especially for the occasion.
Roses are the perfect flower for any occasion. On the occasion of their 25th wedding anniversary, they took a vacation to Paris.
We had occasion to watch her perform last summer.
The boys never had occasion to meet each other.
She never found an occasion to suggest her ideas.
He took the occasion to make an announcement. VerbIt 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 Sifton, New York Times, 22 June 2008"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 Ford, Independence Day, 1996
the announcement concerning the change in scheduling occasioned much confusion See More
Recent Examples on the Web
With a World Cup game hanging in the balance, Ochoa rose to the occasion and Lewandowski did not.Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2022 The princess's look for the occasion actually paid tribute to three important royal women: Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth II, and Princess Diana.
Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 23 Nov. 2022 Decorative accompaniments such as apples, oranges, lemons, limes, and fresh herbs like parsley and chives add to the aesthetics and also help mark the meal and the occasion as something special.
Morgan Hines, USA TODAY, 23 Nov. 2022 Dulles celebrated its 60th anniversary on Nov. 17 — two days after Silver Line service launched — marking the occasion with giveaways and promotions, including selling cups of coffee for 34 cents to match the price on the day the airport opened.
Lori Aratani, Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2022 This coat can be dressed up or down to match the occasion.
Kelsey Mulvey, Men's Health, 22 Nov. 2022 This diplomatic occasion has always called for members of the House of Windsor to dress in their most splendid regal finery, with tiaras, parures, sashes, badges, orders, and ribbons all de rigueur.
Leena Kim, Town & Country, 22 Nov. 2022 If a more intimate occasion, maybe silver, brass, or gold.
Jennifer Carmichael, Better Homes & Gardens, 22 Nov. 2022 Bring elegance to any occasion with this unique star shape.
Alyssa Gautieri, Good Housekeeping, 22 Nov. 2022
The book is unlikely to occasion surprise for readers of Murray’s other books, including The Madness ...
Peter Wood, National Review, 12 May 2022 Whatever Greene or Gosar is saying or doing at the moment doesn't occasion much chatter in their districts.
Chris Cillizza, CNN, 31 Mar. 2022 Feldman’s thought-provoking case for a stark rupture in Union war aims will surely occasion lively debate.Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2021 Elliot shared my feeling that human composting’s greater promise is its potential to occasion a paradigm shift in our relationship to all life.
Lisa Wells, Harper's Magazine, 28 Sep. 2021 The existence of Ross’s book and others like it — and the brutal events that occasion them — suggest the attainment of that goal is still more than 20 years away.BostonGlobe.com, 1 July 2021 The next step is a Senate floor vote, which may occasion Democrats’ first official challenge to the Senate filibuster.
Patrick Gleason, Forbes, 13 May 2021 The ex-royal couple have enough wit to understand that their own hardships don’t occasion many tears outside their lachrymose celebrity friends.
Gerard Baker, WSJ, 8 Mar. 2021 Most Democratic candidates have negotiated the problem reasonably well, although extreme anti-Israel outliers from safe districts, such as Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, can occasion some awkwardness for their congressional colleagues.
Barton Swaim, WSJ, 16 Dec. 2020 See More
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.
Middle English occasioun "opportunity, inducement, grounds or justification, occurrence," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French occasion, borrowed from Medieval Latin occāsiōn-, occāsiō "opportunity, circumstance, cause, pretext," going back to Latin, "convenient circumstances, opportunity," from oc-cad-, base of occidere "to be struck down, die, sink below the horizon" + -tiōn- -tiō, suffix of verbal action — more at occident
Though Latin occāsiō is formally a derivative of occidere, it does not reflect the meaning of that verb; for the sense cf. other derivatives of cadere "to fall," as accidere "to happen" (see accident) and cāsus "occurrence, chance" (see case entry 1). The verbal noun corresponding semantically to occidere is occāsus "sinking (of the sun), downfall, decline."
Middle English occasionen, borrowed from Medieval Latin occāsiōnāre, derivative of occāsiōn-, occāsiōoccasion entry 1