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 Others consider the Kentucky native an opportunist who has drawn doubt due to some of his unfulfilled fundraising campaigns for social justice, as The Daily Beast reported last month. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Shaun King says Jesus statues should come down because they are ‘form of white supremacy’," 23 June 2020 Jackson said the people arrested in the looting were the criminal opportunists, people who saw a chance to enrich themselves in the mayhem. cleveland, "A critical hour of looting, a breach of the Justice Center, talk of liberating inmates: more details from Saturday’s riot in Cleveland," 3 June 2020 Magicians, ever the opportunists, freely took advantage of the craze. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Amazing Poster Art From the “Golden Age” of Magic," 4 Mar. 2020 Don’t get me wrong, countless profiteers and opportunists will capitalize on the coming misery in the global economy. Paul Polman, Fortune, "The coronavirus pandemic may be a turning point for responsible business," 14 Apr. 2020 Those who live among the streets become a market for criminals who act as opportunists to exploit the vulnerable. Anchorage Daily News, "14 questions: Anchorage Assembly candidate Rick Castillo," 28 Mar. 2020 For opportunists eyeing low fares, Leff encourages travelers to wait it out. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "Should I Cancel My Summer Vacation or Fall Trip?," 13 Apr. 2020 Some are legitimate actors working around the clock to track down supplies; other are opportunists cashing in on a global pandemic. Anchorage Daily News, "States do battle for coronavirus protective gear in a market driven by chaos and fear," 11 Apr. 2020 Because selfish opportunists have turned N95 masks that once sold for a buck apiece into a commodity that now sells for nearly ten dollars. Jay Baruch, STAT, "You are waiting for the surge," 21 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for opportunist

Time Traveler

The first known use of opportunist was in 1873

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Statistics for opportunist

Last Updated

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Opportunist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opportunist. Accessed 9 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for opportunist


How to pronounce opportunist (audio)

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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