When something happens from time to time on an irregular basis, we say it is an occasional occurrence. For example, you might have an occasional lunch with a friend. If your friend ever picked up the bill, maybe it would happen more often.

Occasional is a few steps removed from the Latin cadere, "to fall." So you might think of something occasional as something that happens "to fall" just whenever it happens to fall. Speaking of falling, Voltaire once wrote, "The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." An occasional election might do in a pinch.

Definitions of occasional
  1. adjective
    occurring from time to time
    “an occasional worker”
    synonyms: casual
    contrary to rule or accepted order or general practice
  2. adjective
    occurring from time to time
    not frequent; not occurring regularly or at short intervals
  3. adjective
    occurring or appearing at usually irregular intervals
    occasional headaches”
    synonyms: episodic
    not capable of being foretold
  4. adjective
    recurring or reappearing from time to time
    synonyms: periodic
    recurring in scattered and irregular or unpredictable instances
Word Family

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