Meaning of “occasion” in the English Dictionary

"occasion" in British English

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occasionnoun [ C ]

uk /əˈkeɪ.ʒən/ us /əˈkeɪ.ʒən/

B2 a particular time, especially when something happens or has happened:

We met on several occasions to discuss the issue.
I've heard him be rude to her on a number of occasions.
I seem to remember that on that occasion he was with his wife.

B1 a special or formal event:

Sara's party was quite an occasion - there were over a hundred people there.
At the wedding he sang a song specially written for the occasion.
I have a suit but I only wear it on special occasions.
The coronation of a new king is, of course, a historic occasion.
Congratulations on the occasion of your wedding anniversary.

formal an opportunity or reason for doing something or for something to happen:

The 200th anniversary of Mozart's death was the occasion for hundreds of special films, books and concerts.
An occasion may arise when you can use your knowledge of French.
The bride took/used the occasion to make a short speech.
on occasion

C2 sometimes, but not often:

He has, on occasion, made a small mistake.

More examples

occasionverb [ T ]

uk /əˈkeɪ.ʒən/ us /əˈkeɪ.ʒən/ formal

(Definition of “occasion” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"occasion" in American English

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us /əˈkeɪ·ʒən/

occasion noun (PARTICULAR TIME)

[ C ] a particular time when something happens:

Sarah loves dressing up for special occasions.
She has lied on several occasions.
This meeting provides an occasion (= a suitable time) to discuss the issues facing our school.

occasion noun (REASON)

[ U ] a reason or cause:

I’ve never had occasion to worry about my children’s school work.


(Definition of “occasion” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)