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 But don't forget that the House Judiciary Chairman, Jerry Nadler, offered to the president of the United States the opportunity to bring his attorney into their Judiciary Committee hearing, to ask questions, to produce evidence. NBC News, "Meet the Press - January 19, 2020," 19 Jan. 2020 This is an attempt to legislate out of existence the opportunity to learn and participate in the recreational shooting sports and limit the ability of law-abiding Virginians to exercise their Second Amendment rights. Kerry Picket, Washington Examiner, "Virginia legislation seeks to restrict number of outdoor gun ranges," 19 Jan. 2020 For archeologists, however, the opportunity to examine Civil War remains offers potential answers to a host of questions about the lives of combat soldiers. Tribune Media Services, al, "Last known Confederate combat casualty getting funeral 155 years after his death," 19 Jan. 2020 The entertainer took the opportunity while hanging out in the lush Caribbean scenery to slip into a very fashion-forward look. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "The Best Fashion Instagrams of the Week: Kim Kardashian, Bella Hadid, and More," 18 Jan. 2020 Gill was hired away from Oregon, lured by a promotion and the opportunity to work in a program that could help him develop into an offensive coordinator or even a head coach in the future. Greg Moore, azcentral, "Don't be surprised if Arizona State football is Pac-12's biggest story by spring practice," 18 Jan. 2020 But then, in 1976, Jimmy Carter's campaign seized on the opportunity both parties saw in Iowa’s placement, and his success in Iowa translated to the general election. Olivia Sally, Teen Vogue, "Why Does Iowa and New Hampshire Voting First Matter in Presidential Primary Elections?," 18 Jan. 2020 But Etienne isn't alone among running backs this year in turning down an opportunity to be drafted. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Travis Etienne could be making costly decision staying at Clemson," 18 Jan. 2020 This is not an industry lacking attractive travel opportunities. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "The truth about JPM: Less is more," 17 Jan. 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

22 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Opportunity.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/opportunity. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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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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Comments on opportunity

What made you want to look up opportunity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to help to grow, develop, or succeed

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