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 When Crump called for a new special prosecutor to investigate, Cameron criticized him as an opportunist. John Blake, CNN, 22 May 2021 In Stone’s view, however, Atwater was more of an opportunist. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, 6 May 2021 For every opportunist, however, there is someone helping those who need it most. Akanksha Sharma, CNN, 11 May 2021 Austin listens, horrified, as his dad (a moderate who doesn’t mind slavery all that much) and Sam (an opportunist with no apparent moral compass) play at predicting whether John Brown will become a celebrity and if there’s going to be a civil war. Jessica Goldstein, Vulture, 19 Feb. 2021 App Store is an anti-competitive monopoly, while Apple defends itself as the industry standard, painting Epic as an opportunist that’s only looking out for itself. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 5 May 2021 Critics see him as an opportunist who never fails to show up amid another tragedy. NBC News, 3 May 2021 But other Republicans are hardly clearing the field, and Vance's success is likely to hinge on whether the state's white working-class voters embrace him as a home-state hero or an opportunist. Dan Sewell, Star Tribune, 15 Apr. 2021 The pandemic proved to be an opportunist, Moore said. Mary Spicuzza, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 16 Apr. 2021

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

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Opportunist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opportunist. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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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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