op·​por·​tu·​ni·​ty | \ ˌä-pər-ˈtü-nə-tē How to pronounce opportunity (audio) , -ˈtyü- \
plural opportunities

Definition of opportunity

1 : a favorable juncture of circumstances the halt provided an opportunity for rest and refreshment
2 : a good chance for advancement or progress

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Synonyms for opportunity


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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web There were other groups that really saw this as an opportunity to promote regime change. CBS News, "Biggest factor in U.S.-Middle East relations is perception that U.S. is withdrawing," 6 Jan. 2021 A year ago, the Dodgers saw Treinen as a low-risk, high-upside opportunity. Los Angeles Times, "Dodgers continue to build bullpen, re-sign Blake Treinen to a two-year contract," 5 Jan. 2021 In Planting the World, Jordan Goodman demonstrates Banks’s determination to send botanists across the seas whenever an opportunity offered—to Africa and China, South America and Australia. Jenny Uglow, The New York Review of Books, "The Imperial Gardener," 5 Jan. 2021 Reimagining events, then, becomes not only an opportunity to address the issues created by lockdowns, but also the ones that have been plaguing cultural events for years. Angela Watercutter, Wired, "After 2020, Live Events Might Not Look the Same. Good!," 31 Dec. 2020 What will be awfully familiar Friday is the circumstance: another opportunity in the College Football Playoff, with the Tigers standing in the way of a chance to play for the ninth national title in school history and third since 2000. cleveland, "Can Ohio State football find an answer to Clemson’s pressure offense after its 2019 experience? Film Analysis," 30 Dec. 2020 The next opportunity to appoint someone will be at the regular Feb. 3 council meeting, or the council could call a special meeting for a decision Feb. 10. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Five so far apply for Oceanside council vacancy," 30 Dec. 2020 The Bears are staring at a golden opportunity — a win-and-in game against the rival Green Bay Packers in their regular-season finale — after routing the Jacksonville Jaguars 41-17 on Sunday. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Daywatch: Pandemic’s lasting changes for food industry, pot expungements lagging in Illinois and Bears a win away from playoffs," 28 Dec. 2020 Force of personality, opportunity, sheer accident: these were much more decisive than some neat formula of suffering in, autocracy out. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "What We Get Wrong About America’s Crisis of Democracy," 27 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opportunity.' 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 opportunity

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for opportunity

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

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Time Traveler for opportunity

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for opportunity

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Opportunity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opportunity. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for opportunity


How to pronounce opportunity (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of opportunity

: an amount of time or a situation in which something can be done


op·​por·​tu·​ni·​ty | \ ˌä-pər-ˈtü-nə-tē How to pronounce opportunity (audio) , -ˈtyü- \
plural opportunities

Kids Definition of opportunity

1 : a favorable combination of circumstances, time, and place He practices guitar at every opportunity.
2 : a chance for greater success “… learning secretarial skills is an exciting opportunity for me …”— Lemony Snicket, The Austere Academy

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