From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Occasional \Oc*ca"sion*al\ ([o^]k*k[=a]"zh[u^]n*al), a. [Cf. F.
   1. Occuring at times, but not constant, regular, or
      systematic; made or happening as opportunity requires or
      admits; casual; incidental; as, occasional remarks, or
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            The . . . occasional writing of the present times.
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   2. Produced by accident; as, the occasional origin of a
      thing. [Obs.] --Sir T. Browne.
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   3. Of or pertaining to an occasion or to occasions; intended
      for a specific occasion; for use only when needed, and not

   Occasional cause (Metaph.), some circumstance preceding an
      effect which, without being the real cause, becomes the
      occasion of the action of the efficient cause; thus, the
      act of touching gunpowder with fire is the occasional, but
      not the efficient, cause of an explosion.
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