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1. An event or happening, or the time of an event or happening: On several occasions, we saw him riding a motorcycle.
2. A significant event, especially a large or important social gathering: The reception proved to be quite the occasion.
3. A favorable or appropriate time or juncture: saw the layoff as an occasion to change careers. See Synonyms at opportunity.
a. A cause of or reason for something: a trade disagreement that furnished the occasion for war. See Synonyms at cause.
b. A need created by a particular circumstance: "He must buy what he has little occasion for" (Laurence Sterne).
5. occasions Archaic Personal requirements or necessities.
tr.v. oc·ca·sioned, oc·ca·sion·ing, oc·ca·sions
To provide occasion for; cause: "The broadcast and its immediate aftermath occasioned a cascade of media commentary" (Lewis Sorley).
on occasion
From time to time; now and then.
rise to the occasion
To find the ability to deal with an unexpected challenge.
take the occasion
To make use of the opportunity (to do something).

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin occāsiō, occāsiōn-, from occāsus, past participle of occidere, to fall : ob-, down; see ob- + cadere, to fall; see kad- in Indo-European roots.]


pl n
1. (sometimes singular) needs; necessities
2. personal or business affairs
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.occasions - something you have to dooccasions - something you have to do; "he minded his own specialized occasions"
business - an immediate objective; "gossip was the main business of the evening"
References in classic literature ?
These boots, an old foil, and a slashed doublet once used by an artist for some picture, were Jo's chief treasures and appeared on all occasions.
On the occasions when David went to visit his grandfather on the Bentley farm, he was altogether contented and happy.
Ned and Tom made one or two short hunting trips, and on these occasions they kept a lookout in the direction the Indian had taken when he went away.
On a few previous occasions she had been completely deprived of any desire to finish her dinner.
When he had enumerated the many different occasions on which the Hurons had exhibited their courage and prowess, in the punishment of insults, he digressed in a high encomium on the virtue of wisdom.
In this situation the articles were formally agreed to, and signed; and the Indians told us it was customary with them, on such occasions, for two Indians to shake hands with every white-man in the treaty, as an evidence of entire friendship.
Clifford, on several occasions, had seemed to enjoy the old man's intercourse, for the sake of his mellow, cheerful vein, which was like the sweet flavor of a frost-bitten apple, such as one picks up under the tree in December.
Such occasions might remind the elderly citizen of that period, before the last war with England, when Salem was a port by itself; not scorned, as she is now, by her own merchants and ship-owners, who permit her wharves to crumble to ruin while their ventures go to swell, needlessly and imperceptibly, the mighty flood of commerce at New York or Boston.
His only resource on such occasions, either to drown thought or drive away evil spirits, was to sing psalm tunes and the good people of Sleepy Hollow, as they sat by their doors of an evening, were often filled with awe at hearing his nasal melody, "in linked sweetness long drawn out," floating from the distant hill, or along the dusky road.
That was exactly present to me--by which I mean the face was-- when, on the first of these occasions, at the end of a long June day, I stopped short on emerging from one of the plantations and coming into view of the house.
Starbuck was no crusader after perils; in him courage was not a sentiment; but a thing simply useful to him, and always at hand upon all mortally practical occasions.
And as the mighty iron Leviathan of the modern railway is so familiarly known in its every pace, that, with watches in their hands, men time his rate as doctors that of a baby's pulse; and lightly say of it, the up train or the down train will reach such or such a spot, at such or such an hour; even so, almost, there are occasions when these Nantucketers time that other Leviathan of the deep, according to the observed humor of his speed; and say to themselves, so many hours hence this whale will have gone two hundred miles, will have about reached this or that degree of latitude or longitude.