op·por·tu·ni·ty | \ ˌä-pər-ˈtü-nə-tē , -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


break, chance, occasion, opening, room, shot

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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

Established last summer, the five-day day camp, held at the Churchville Recreation Center, gives people with disabilities, ages 8 and up, an opportunity to learn and experience the thrill of bike riding. The Aegis, "Harford concludes another successful iCan Bike Camp," 13 July 2018 The idea is to give them the opportunity to shine on stage. Chuck Fieldman, chicagotribune.com, "Clarendon Hills summer theater camp offers kids a chance in the spotlight," 13 July 2018 Since that time, fictive sisterhoods of all stripes (familial and otherwise) have been realized to wonderful effect, giving women the opportunity to commune and take up space in ways not always fostered by their surrounding culture. Marley Marius, Vogue, "8 Stirring Tales of Sisterhood Adapted From the Page to the Silver Screen (That Aren’t Greta Gerwig’s Little Women)," 13 July 2018 Since late March, 321 LAUNCH has been giving users an opportunity to bring rocket launches into their everyday life. Staff, USA TODAY, "USA TODAY Adds Augmented Reality to Mobile App," 13 July 2018 Read more: The program, expanded after a successful pilot last year, is slated to give up to 300 more Detroiters facing tax foreclosure the opportunity to stay in their homes. Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit home tax foreclosures: Why they've dropped dramatically," 13 July 2018 The new rule is also certain to get challenged in court, eventually giving the Supreme Court an opportunity to rule on the Trump EPA’s more narrow interpretation. Emily Atkin, The New Republic, "How the New Supreme Court Could Halt Climate Action," 12 July 2018 Chayka said that the Golden Knights were a prime example of how certain players, when given a bigger opportunity, can transform their game and blossom into highly effective pieces. Richard Morin, azcentral, "Arizona Coyotes complete seven-player deal with Chicago Blackhawks," 12 July 2018 Three years ago my agency, Educating Communities for Parenting, was given the opportunity to work with parents of children who are visually impaired or blind. Anita Kulick, Philly.com, "How we can help families who have kids with special needs," 12 July 2018

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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Statistics for opportunity

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for opportunity

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

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More Definitions for opportunity



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 , -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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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