opportunism

noun
op·​por·​tun·​ism | \ ˌä-pər-ˈtü-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce opportunism (audio) , -ˈtyü-\

Definition of opportunism

: the art, policy, or practice of taking advantage of opportunities or circumstances often with little regard for principles or consequences

Examples of opportunism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

That triggered disputes with labor officials — Gonzalez Fletcher had been a labor leader herself — and other Democrats who questioned whether Fletcher’s shifting political alliances and positions were based in opportunism. Michael Smolens, sandiegouniontribune.com, "The final push for team Gonzalez Fletcher," 27 May 2018 Prospects for populist leaders after electoral success Whether these leaders’ ambitious visions can be transformed from populist opportunism to a genuine and realistic program for reform remains to be seen. Renad Mansour, Washington Post, "An emerging populism is sweeping the Middle East," 11 July 2018 This axis of opportunism allowed the U.S. and Kurds to roll up ISIS in Syria’s northeast while the axis focused on wiping out opposition strongholds. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Trump’s Syria Moment," 4 Sep. 2018 Mr Rajoy accused his foe of naked opportunism, and of trying to govern against the wishes of Spaniards who had soundly rejected Mr Sánchez at elections in 2015 and again in 2016. The Economist, "Spain prepares to dump its prime minister," 31 May 2018 Other commentators see Moscow’s gambit, born of opportunism and executed ruthlessly, as a masterstroke. Ishaan Tharoor, Washington Post, "Russia stays in the driver’s seat in Syria," 10 July 2018 Sometimes there’s an unavoidable whiff of opportunism in the air. Nell Beram, New York Times, "Bob Dylan and Will Smith: Children’s Authors?," 2 July 2018 While resentment over Russia’s diminished stature is a key motivator of Mr. Putin’s behavior, so far Russia’s decision-making has been driven largely by opportunism rather than by a grandiose civilizational shift. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "Russia’s Turn to Its Asian Past," 6 July 2018 European governments cannot make up their minds whether Mr. Trump’s assault on multilateralism is driven by ideology, opportunism or ignorance. Simon Nixon, WSJ, "As Trump Arrives, Europe Frets Over His Designs on Postwar Global Order," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opportunism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of opportunism

1870, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for opportunism

opportune + -ism, after Italian opportunismo and French opportunisme

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Last Updated

16 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for opportunism

The first known use of opportunism was in 1870

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Spanish Central: Translation of opportunism

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