rise to the occasion


rise to the occasion


  • achieve extraordinary results under pressure.
  • perform at a higher level than normal.
  • exceed expectations during demanding times.
  • exceed usual limits or standards.
  • develop extra confidence and abilities to meet key challenges.
  • do more and be better than required for the situation.

Example Sentences

  1. I know I will rise to the occasion when challenges arise.
  2. She always rises to the occasion and delivers excellent results.
  3. They are ready to rise to the occasion whenever duty calls.
  4. The CEO rose to the occasion and inspired the team during the crisis.
  5. The star player rose to the occasion in the championship game and led their team to victory.
  6. Despite many obstacles, the relief efforts rose to the occasion and provided quick aid to the disaster victims.


This idiom originated in the late 16th century in England. At the time, an ‘occasion’ referred to any important event, circumstance, or time, especially one that required a display of courage, skill, or resolve. “Rise to the occasion” means to rise up and meet the demands of such an important moment.

Some key factors contributed to the development and popularization of this idiom:

  • There was a tradition of valor and honor that placed high importance on proving oneself worthy during difficult times or challenging events. Rising to meet the demands of an occasion demonstrated courage, competence, and nobility.
  • The English Renaissance saw an increased focus on courtesy, manners, and the code of chivalry. A gentleman was expected to rise to any occasion that required a show of courtesy, courage, or chivalric virtue.
  • The rise of royal courts and lavish ceremonies sparked a proliferation of important public events and social occasions that tested a person’s poise and ability. Rising to the occasion at these events demonstrated one’s status and grace.

Over time, as attitudes shifted and royal courts faded, the idiom took on a more general meaning. But its original associations with courage, honor, and rising to meet the demands of significance or difficulty have endured. Today, it continues to refer to summoning extraordinary ability and resolve during pivotal moments in life, work, or relationships.

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