A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[uh-key-zhuh n] /əˈkeɪ ʒən/
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.
  1. needs or necessities.
  2. 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
Related forms
preoccasioned, adjective
3. chance, opening. 4. motive, inducement, influence. See cause. 7. motivate, originate, produce, create. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for occasions
  • On rare occasions the auditorium may be available during business hours.
  • Admittedly, we've asked for the same on occasions when a little spirit of conjecture would be welcomed.
  • Normally stored in a climate- controlled vault in the museum, the case is taken out of the vault only on special occasions.
  • Certain factors can cause dry eyes, which in my case caused a major setback on two different occasions.
  • It is therefore possible to predict what should happen on future occasions.
  • Kava is mixed with water in the bowl and is drunk using coconut shells at social occasions.
  • It is the setting that readily comes to mind when one thinks of holidays or family occasions.
  • Anniversaries are one of the few occasions at which a nostalgic impulse should be left to roam unfettered.
  • Unfortunately corpses have been used as verification on several occasions.
  • Memorial exhibitions are not usually the happiest of occasions.
British Dictionary definitions for occasions


plural noun (archaic)
(sometimes sing) needs; necessities
personal or business affairs


(sometimes foll by of) the time of a particular happening or event
(sometimes foll by for) a reason or cause (to do or be something); grounds: there was no occasion to complain
an opportunity (to do something); chance
a special event, time, or celebration: the party was quite an occasion
on occasion, every so often
rise to the occasion, to have the courage, wit, etc, to meet the special demands of a situation
take occasion, to avail oneself of an opportunity (to do something)
(transitive) to bring about, esp incidentally or by chance
See also occasions
Word Origin
C14: from Latin occāsiō a falling down, from occidere, from ob- down + cadere to fall
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for occasions



late 14c., "opportunity; grounds for action, state of affairs that makes something else possible; a happening, occurrence," from Old French ochaison, ocasion "cause, reason, excuse, pretext; opportunity" (13c.) or directly from Latin occasionem (nominative occasio) "opportunity, appropriate time," in Late Latin "cause," from occasum, occasus, past participle of occidere "fall down, go down," from ob "down, away" (see ob-) + cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). The notion is of a "falling together," or juncture, of circumstances.


mid-15c., "to bring (something) about," from occasion (n.), or else from Old French occasionner "to cause," from Medieval Latin occasionare, from Latin occasionem (see occasion (n.)). Related: Occasioned; occasioning.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with occasions
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for occasion

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for occasions

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with occasions