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.

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 Of course, that approach earned Sharpton plenty of detractors — almost all of whom are white — who have chided him as racial opportunist. Jake Coyle, USA TODAY, 19 June 2022 Of course, that approach earned Sharpton plenty of detractors — almost all of whom are white — who have chided him as racial opportunist. Jake Coyle, ajc, 19 June 2022 Alternatively, Michael Rhodes, a lawyer for the Kardashians, painted Blac Chyna as an opportunist who wanted to be a part of the famous family. Carrie Wittmer, Glamour, 20 Apr. 2022 Maclay also belonged to a San Francisco vigilante group, and became a state legislator as well as a self-dealing opportunist who bought up the de Celis land on behalf of his patron, the railroad bigshot Leland Stanford. Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 As her profile grows at home, that balance is going to inevitably be harder to maintain without looking like a rank opportunist. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 9 Feb. 2022 Vladimir Putin, a bold opportunist, is putting into play his most daring and menacing gambit yet. Steve Forbes, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 Some of her critics have sought to cast her as an opportunist seeking to bolster her brand. Becky Bohrer, Anchorage Daily News, 20 Apr. 2022 Publicly, Democrats vented fury at Manchin and his fellow naysayer, Senator Kyrsten Sinema, the eccentric opportunist from Arizona. Andrew Cockburn, Harper’s Magazine , 20 Jan. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of opportunist was in 1873

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Last Updated

11 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Opportunist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opportunist. Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for opportunist


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

Medical Definition of opportunist

: an opportunistic microorganism

More from Merriam-Webster on opportunist

Nglish: Translation of opportunist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of opportunist for Arabic Speakers


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