op·​por·​tu·​ni·​ty ˌä-pər-ˈtü-nə-tē How to pronounce opportunity (audio)
plural opportunities
: a favorable juncture of circumstances
the halt provided an opportunity for rest and refreshment
: a good chance for advancement or progress

Examples of opportunity in a Sentence

A phony war because its stated objective—eradicating terrorism—is impossible and serves to mask unstated, alarmingly open-ended goals, a kind of fishing expedition that provides an opportunity for America to display its intimidating arsenal … John Edgar Wideman, Harper's, March 2002
Nowadays my only opportunity for an old-fashioned, self-indulgent sulk comes when I'm traveling. Ian Frazier, Atlantic, March 2001
I'm handing you an opportunity in the heart of the city where the whole world's heading: journalists, corporate leeches, Japanese tourists, Greco-Roman wrestlers. Gary Smith, Illustrated, 11 Sept. 2000
More than 90 percent of female senior managers believe that men's and women's opportunities remain unequal … Katha Pollitt, Atlantic, November 1997
You'll have an opportunity to ask questions after the presentation. When the opportunity came for her to prove that she could do the job, she was ready. I had the rare opportunity of speaking to the president. Studying abroad provides a great opportunity to learn a foreign language. There are fewer job opportunities this year for graduates. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped me with this book. He was given every opportunity to prove that he was trustworthy. There is plenty of opportunity for advancement within the company. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Seek out mentors, collaborate with colleagues who inspire you and find opportunities to enhance your connections within the workplace. Morgan Massie, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Seizing the opportunity presented by its virality is probably the best explanation, because rarely, if ever, does a label have as part of a master plan pushing two singles to radio at once. Chris Willman, Variety, 28 Nov. 2023 That means more opportunities to look for bargains, or to get tripped up by less-than-ideal offers. Christine Romans, NBC News, 28 Nov. 2023 The chin-length bob and halo cut will give you plenty of opportunities to play around with hot tools and brushes to achieve the perfect shape. Annie Blay, Allure, 28 Nov. 2023 Making the 5,000-seat facility an all-weather attraction will help bring economic development to Arkansas' smallest county and provide more recreational opportunities for the area's rural population. Aaron Gettinger, arkansasonline.com, 28 Nov. 2023 Getting to and between the richest private camps and imaginative hotels in Africa offers its own opportunity to turn the worst part of travel into its own highlight. Christopher Cameron, Robb Report, 28 Nov. 2023 Fans will have an opportunity to influence the look and feel of the characters, as well as the title, during the upcoming Comic-Con LA between Dec. 1-3. Joe Otterson, Variety, 16 Nov. 2023 The 85-year-old’s cast and crew took every opportunity to heap praise on the director. Thr Staff, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'opportunity.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English oportunyte, borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French oportunité, borrowed from Latin opportūnitāt-, opportūnitās, from opportūnus "convenient, opportune" + -itāt-, -itās -ity

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of opportunity was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near opportunity

Cite this Entry

“Opportunity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opportunity. Accessed 3 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


op·​por·​tu·​ni·​ty ˌäp-ər-ˈt(y)ü-nət-ē How to pronounce opportunity (audio)
plural opportunities
: a favorable combination of circumstances, time, and place
: a chance to better oneself

More from Merriam-Webster on opportunity

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