op·​por·​tu·​nis·​tic | \ ˌä-pər-tü-ˈni-stik How to pronounce opportunistic (audio) , -tyü- \

Definition of opportunistic

: taking advantage of opportunities as they arise: such as
a : exploiting opportunities with little regard to principle (see principle sense 1) or consequences a politician considered opportunistic an opportunistic investment
b : feeding on whatever food is available opportunistic feeders opportunistic bears
c : being or caused by a usually harmless microorganism that can become pathogenic when the host's resistance is impaired opportunistic infections opportunistic diseases

Other Words from opportunistic

opportunistically \ ˌä-​pər-​tü-​ˈni-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce opportunistic (audio) , -​tyü-​ \ adverb

Examples of opportunistic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web While convenient, the UPnP protocol often makes IoT devices a bit too easy to discover, leaving them vulnerable to opportunistic hackers. Nadir Izrael, Forbes, 28 May 2021 Sparked by senior third baseman Ripken Reese, the No. 11 Gaels were aggressive and opportunistic at the plate. Glenn Graham, Baltimore Sun, 26 Mar. 2022 On defense, although Staley’s schemes feature different wrinkles than those offered by Phillips, the same aggressive and opportunistic mindset showed in his charges’ play. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 21 Sep. 2020 The revolution was overseen by pragmatic, opportunistic and sometimes mendacious visitors, who variously travelled with their own concubines and caught unwary abbots with theirs. Crawford Gribben, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 Opponents call it a dangerous, irresponsible gambit that would benefit an assortment of opportunistic politicians eager to grab a share in power. Washington Post, 13 Jan. 2021 But attachment to Nazism was not simply opportunistic. Joel Kotkin, National Review, 29 Mar. 2022 China has been opportunistic about providing vaccines to wayward U.S. allies. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, 12 Mar. 2021 Brian Adams added 17 points and McQueen was opportunistic on defense with 17 steals. Chris Bieri, Anchorage Daily News, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opportunistic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of opportunistic

1892, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for opportunistic

opportunist + -ic entry 1

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Time Traveler for opportunistic

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The first known use of opportunistic was in 1892

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Last Updated

25 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Opportunistic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opportunistic. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for opportunistic


op·​por·​tu·​nist·​ic | \ -t(y)ü-ˈnis-tik How to pronounce opportunistic (audio) \

Medical Definition of opportunistic

1 : of, relating to, or being a microorganism that is usually harmless but can become pathogenic when the host's resistance to disease is impaired
2 : of, relating to, or being an infection or disease caused by an opportunistic organism Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and other opportunistic infections that kill AIDS patientsNew York Times

More from Merriam-Webster on opportunistic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for opportunistic

Nglish: Translation of opportunistic for Spanish Speakers


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