op·​por·​tun·​ist | \ ˌä-pər-ˈtü-nist How to pronounce opportunist (audio) , -ˈtyü-\

Definition of opportunist

: one that is opportunistic or that practices opportunism a slick, shady, amoral opportunist who has only one desire: to get through life without a day of labor— Allan Ulrich Most burglars are opportunists.

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Other Words from opportunist

opportunist adjective

Examples of opportunist in a Sentence

a political opportunist who changed his health-care plan to win the election ever the opportunist, she immediately set about becoming the incoming administrator's new best friend

Recent Examples on the Web

Mike Hubbard is many things – a sneak and a power-monger, a puppet-master, a control freak, an opportunist and greedy, greedy man. John Archibald | Jarchibald@al.com, al.com, "Alabama court to decide if ignorance of the powerful is excused," 4 June 2019 Isn't this is a guy who is an opportunist and a political hack who goes whichever way the -- whichever way the winds are going? Fox News, "Rudy Giuliani on McGahn's testimony, origins of Russia probe," 19 Aug. 2018 The press has labeled her an opportunist and a neo-Nazi defender. NBC News, "YouTube tested, Trump approved: How Candace Owens suddenly became the loudest voice on the far right," 23 June 2018 This view of Javanka as cynical opportunists echoes throughout the book, but nowhere more memorably than in the chapter dealing with the fallout from Trump’s response to the ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Charlottesville, VA in August of 2017. Emma Dibdin, Town & Country, "Does Ivanka Trump Really Want to Be President Someday?," 19 Mar. 2019 These self-interested opportunists have support from ideologues in places like the Vatican, which has been an advocate of appeasing Mr. Maduro. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Power and Money in Venezuela," 10 Feb. 2019 And historically, in those kinds of conditions, that's ripe for opportunists who try to exploit America's history and division, racial, ethnic, religious. Fox News, "Woman who knew Kavanaugh in high school speaks out," 14 Sep. 2018 The mosquitoes of the London Underground, for instance, have become non-hibernating, year-round opportunists, making commuters their preferred food source and becoming genetically distinct from their above-ground relatives. Jennie Erin Smith, WSJ, "Living for the City," 13 Apr. 2018 Go after your opportunity and be aggressive, but don’t pester or be an opportunist. Amber Kallor, Allure, "How Frankie Boyd Went From Being a M.A.C. Counter Cashier to an A-List Makeup Artist," 30 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opportunist.' 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 opportunist

1873, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for opportunist

opportun(ism) + -ist entry 1, probably after French opportuniste

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Statistics for opportunist

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for opportunist

The first known use of opportunist was in 1873

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More Definitions for opportunist



English Language Learners Definition of opportunist

disapproving : someone who tries to get an advantage or something valuable from a situation without thinking about what is fair or right


op·​por·​tun·​ist | \ ˌäp-ər-ˈt(y)ü-nəst How to pronounce opportunist (audio) \

Medical Definition of opportunist

: an opportunistic microorganism

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Comments on opportunist

What made you want to look up opportunist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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