(preceded by another determiner) An indefinite, but usually small, number of.
‘I was expecting lots of people at the party, but very few (=almost none) turned up.’; ‘Quite a few of them (=many of them) were pleasantly surprised.’; ‘don't know how many drinks I've had, but I've had a few. [This usage is likely ironic.]’;
Occurring or appearing irregularly from time to time, but not often.
‘He was mostly solitary, but enjoyed the occasional visitor.’; ‘He took an occasional glass of wine.’;
(used alone) Not many; a small (in comparison with another number stated or implied) but somewhat indefinite number of.
‘There are few people who understand quantum theory.’; ‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’;
Created for a specific occasion.
‘Elgar's music was not created to be occasional music for high-school graduations.’;
(US?) Obscuring one eighth to two eighths of the sky.
‘Tonight: A few clouds. Increasing cloudiness overnight.’; ‘NOAA definition of the term "few clouds": An official sky cover classification for aviation weather observations, descriptive of a sky cover of 1/8 to 2/8. This is applied only when obscuring phenomena aloft are present--that is, not when obscuring phenomena are surface-based, such as fog.’;
Intended for use as the occasion requires.
‘What your living room needs are some occasional chairs.’;
(US?) Having a 10 percent chance of measurable precipitation (0.01 inch); used interchangeably with isolated.
Acting in the indicated role from time to time.
‘He is an occasional writer of letters to the editor.’;
Few people, few things.
‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’;
A person who does something only occasionally.
Not many; small, limited, or confined in number; - indicating a small portion of units or individuals constituting a whole; often, by ellipsis of a noun, a few people.
‘Few know and fewer care.’;
Occuring at times, but not constant, regular, or systematic; made or happening as opportunity requires or admits; casual; incidental; as, occasional remarks, or efforts.
‘The . . . occasional writing of the present times.’;
an indefinite but relatively small number;
‘they bought a case of beer and drank a few’;
Produced by accident; as, the occasional origin of a thing.
a small elite group;
‘it was designed for the discriminating few’;
Of or pertaining to an occasion or to occasions; intended for a specific occasion; for use only when needed, and not regularly.
a quantifier that can be used with count nouns and is often preceded by `a'; a small but indefinite number;
‘a few weeks ago’; ‘a few more wagons than usual’; ‘an invalid's pleasures are few and far between’; ‘few roses were still blooming’; ‘few women have led troops in battle’;
occurring from time to time;
‘took an occasional glass of wine’;
occurring or appearing at usually irregular intervals;
‘episodic in his affections’; ‘occasional headaches’;
employed in a specified capacity from time to time;
‘casual employment’; ‘a casual correspondence with a former teacher’; ‘an occasional worker’;
occurring, appearing, or done infrequently and irregularly
‘the occasional car went by but no taxis’;
(of furniture) made or adapted for use on a particular occasion or for infrequent use
‘an occasional table’;
(of a literary composition, speech, religious service, etc.) produced on or intended for a special occasion
‘he wrote occasional verse for patrons’;
employed for a particular occasion or on an irregular basis
‘occasional freelancer seeks full-time position’;