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.

1350–1400; Middle English occasioun < Old French occasion < Latin occāsiōn- (stem of occāsiō), equivalent to oc- oc- + cās(us) (past participle of cadere to fall, befall) + -iōn- -ion

preoccasioned, adjective

3. chance, opening. 4. motive, inducement, influence. See cause. 7. motivate, originate, produce, create.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
occasion (əˈkeɪʒən)
1.  (sometimes foll by of) the time of a particular happening or event
2.  (sometimes foll by for) a reason or cause (to do or be something); grounds: there was no occasion to complain
3.  an opportunity (to do something); chance
4.  a special event, time, or celebration: the party was quite an occasion
5.  on occasion every so often
6.  rise to the occasion to have the courage, wit, etc, to meet the special demands of a situation
7.  take occasion to avail oneself of an opportunity (to do something)
8.  (tr) to bring about, esp incidentally or by chance
[C14: from Latin occāsiō a falling down, from occidere, from ob- down + cadere to fall]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. occasion, from L. occasionem (nom. occasio) "opportunity, appropriate time," from occasum, pp. of occidere "fall down, go down," from ob "down, away" + cadere "to fall" (see case (1)). The notion is of a "falling together," or juncture, of circumstances.
The verb is first attested 1520s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see on occasion; rise to the occasion.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Be it a weekend escape or far-flung adventure, every occasion promises the
  chance for a great photograph.
On one occasion, she grabbed the skin under a whale shark's first dorsal fin as
  it cruised by.
She rationed her intake of food until, on more than one occasion, she collapsed
  of weakness.
It was a pretty festive occasion, there wasn't any singing or dancing, but
  everyone was happy.
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