op·por·tun·ism | \ˌä-pər-ˈtü-ˌni-zəm, -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

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 McDaniel’s objection to Weinstein was probably sincere — most people’s objections to the allegations were — but the demand that the DNC give back its money was just opportunism. Philip Bump, Washington Post, "Partisanship means never having to say you're sorry," 9 Feb. 2018 For the Phillies, the operating policy should continue to be restrained opportunism. David Murphy, Philly.com, "Phillies' best trade policy is still restrained opportunism | David Murphy," 27 June 2018 His rise in popularity has been a mix of opportunism and borrowing from the success of other right-wing politicians, Dr Davide Vampa, an expert in Italian politics from Aston University told Euronews. Mark Collette, Houston Chronicle, "Texas skills gap is stressing the South's economy, report finds," 12 June 2018 After all, who can engender the combination of opportunism and paranoia usually needed to start a business? The Economist, "Can you teach entrepreneurship?," 7 June 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

28 Sep 2018

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The first known use of opportunism was in 1870

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