occasion

Occasion means something special––that happens seldom or is notable when it does. On occasion, we sit down together as a family, but not every day, and never for dinner. When Great Aunt Mabel visits, however, we rise to the occasion and stage a large family meal.

Occasion can also mean a designated time or reason something happens, or it can be an event in itself. I'm giving you your grandmother's ring on the occasion of your graduation from high school. I haven't had occasion to look at it since she died. It's valuable, so only wear it on special occasions.

Definitions of occasion
1

n an event that occurs at a critical time

“it was needed only on special occasions
Synonyms:
juncture
Types:
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climax, flood tide
the highest point of anything conceived of as growing or developing or unfolding
conjuncture
a critical combination of events or circumstances
crisis
a crucial stage or turning point in the course of something
landmark, turning point, watershed
an event marking a unique or important historical change of course or one on which important developments depend
milestone
a significant event in your life (or in a project)
head, pass, straits
a difficult juncture
reality check
an occasion on which one is reminded of the nature of things in the real world
emergency, exigency, pinch
a sudden unforeseen crisis (usually involving danger) that requires immediate action
Fall of Man
(Judeo-Christian mythology) when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden, God punished them by driving them out of the Garden of Eden and into the world where they would be subject to sickness and pain and eventual death
road to Damascus
a sudden turning point in a person's life (similar to the sudden conversion of the Apostle Paul on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus of arrest Christians)
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens

n a vaguely specified social event

“an occasion arranged to honor the president”
Synonyms:
affair, function, social function, social occasion
Types:
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party
an occasion on which people can assemble for social interaction and entertainment
celebration, jubilation
a joyful occasion for special festivities to mark some happy event
ceremonial, ceremonial occasion, ceremony, observance
a formal event performed on a special occasion
fundraiser
a social function that is held for the purpose of raising money
photo op, photo opportunity
an occasion that lends itself to (or is deliberately arranged for) taking photographs that provide favorable publicity for those who are photographed
sleepover
an occasion of spending a night away from home or having a guest spend the night in your home (especially as a party for children)
bash, brawl, do
an uproarious party
birthday party
a party held on the anniversary of someone's birth
bun-fight, bunfight
(Briticism) a grand formal party on an important occasion
ceilidh
an informal social gathering at which there is Scottish or Irish folk music and singing and folk dancing and story telling
cocktail party
an afternoon party at which cocktails are served
dance
a party for social dancing
feast, fete, fiesta
an elaborate party (often outdoors)
house party
a party lasting over one or more nights at a large house
jolly
a happy party
tea party
a party at which tea is served
whist drive
a progressive whist party
circumstance
formal ceremony about important occasions
funeral
a ceremony at which a dead person is buried or cremated
hymeneals, nuptials, wedding, wedding ceremony
the social event at which the ceremony of marriage is performed
pageant, pageantry
a rich and spectacular ceremony
dedication
a ceremony in which something (as a building) is dedicated to some goal or purpose
opening
a ceremony accompanying the start of some enterprise
commemoration, memorialisation, memorialization
a ceremony to honor the memory of someone or something
military ceremony
a formal ceremony performed by military personnel
induction, initiation, installation
a formal entry into an organization or position or office
exercise
(usually plural) a ceremony that involves processions and speeches
fire walking
the ceremony of walking barefoot over hot stones or a bed of embers
formalities, formality
a requirement of etiquette or custom
Maundy
a public ceremony on Maundy Thursday when the monarch distributes Maundy money
potlatch
a ceremonial feast held by some Indians of the northwestern coast of North America (as in celebrating a marriage or a new accession) in which the host gives gifts to tribesmen and others to display his superior wealth (sometimes, formerly, to his own impoverishment)
Type of:
social event
an event characteristic of persons forming groups

n the time of a particular event

“on the occasion of his 60th birthday”
Types:
meal
any of the occasions for eating food that occur by custom or habit at more or less fixed times
Type of:
time
a suitable moment

n an opportunity to do something

“there was never an occasion for her to demonstrate her skill”
Types:
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cut-rate sale, sale, sales event
an occasion (usually brief) for buying at specially reduced prices
bazaar, fair
a sale of miscellany; often for charity
boot sale, car boot sale
an outdoor sale at which people sell things from the trunk of their car
clearance sale, inventory-clearance sale
a sale to reduce inventory
closeout
a sale intended to dispose of all remaining stock
fire sale
a sale of merchandise supposedly damaged by fire
fire sale
a sale of assets at very low prices typically when the seller faces bankruptcy
garage sale, yard sale
an outdoor sale of used personal or household items held on the seller's premises
going-out-of-business sale
a sale of all the tangible assets of a business that is about to close
realisation, realization
a sale in order to obtain money (as a sale of stock or a sale of the estate of a bankrupt person) or the money so obtained
jumble sale, rummage sale
a sale of donated articles
selloff
a sale of a relatively large number of assets (stocks or bonds or commodities) at a low price typically done to dispose of them rather than as normal trade
white sale
a sale of household linens
Type of:
chance, opportunity
a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances

n a reason

“there was no occasion for complaint”
Type of:
ground, reason
a rational motive for a belief or action

v give occasion to

Types:
inspire
supply the inspiration for
Type of:
cause, do, make
give rise to; cause to happen or occur, not always intentionally

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