on occasion


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
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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

on occasion

From time to time, now and then, as in Nell has been known to eat meat on occasion. This usage, first in the form of upon occasion, replaced by occasion about 1600.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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