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[uh-key-zhuh-nl] /əˈkeɪ ʒə nl/
occurring or appearing at irregular or infrequent intervals; occurring now and then:
an occasional headache.
intended for supplementary use when needed:
an occasional chair.
pertaining to, arising out of, or intended for the occasion:
occasional verses.
acting or serving for the occasion or only on particular occasions.
serving as the occasion or incidental cause.
Origin of occasional
1560-70; occasion + -al1
Related forms
occasionalness, occasionality, noun
unoccasional, adjective
unoccasionally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for occasional
  • His occasional series of columns covers the game, its controversies and what it has taught him about everyday life.
  • Expect little traffic, but watch out for the occasional reindeer.
  • His occasional series of columns covers the game, its controversies and what it has taught him about every day life.
  • Responsibilities will be primarily research, with occasional teaching with a focus on practice.
  • But they are interrupted by the occasional hoot of pleasure.
  • There are also guest ales, occasional beer festivals, and delicious food in the evenings.
  • Most museum goers confine themselves to murmurs of appreciation or the occasional reverent flip of a program page.
  • occasional volcanic eruptions had layered minerals throughout the outcrops.
  • Evening and occasional weekend availability required.
  • Yet the growth of emerging economies is unlikely to continue at the same rapid pace or without occasional downturns.
British Dictionary definitions for occasional


taking place from time to time; not frequent or regular
of, for, or happening on special occasions
serving as an occasion (for something)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for occasional

late 14c., "occurring now and then," from occasion (n.) + -al (1). Meaning "casual" is 1560s. Meaning "happening on or pertaining to a particular occasion" is from 1630s. Of furniture, etc., from 1749.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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