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

Example Sentences

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 Through all of those late struggles against the Wizards, there still was opportunity for redemption off a Heat timeout down one with 2.8 seconds left in overtime. Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel, 19 Nov. 2022 The penultimate game of the regular season is Oregon State’s opportunity for its eighth win of the season, as well as clinching a winning record for road games. oregonlive, 19 Nov. 2022 Nick Saban was asked after the game for an injury update in what became an opportunity for some press room fun. Michael Casagrande | Mcasagrande@al.com, al, 19 Nov. 2022 Chesky told Fortune that a recession might actually prove to be an opportunity for Airbnb and people looking to make some extra cash. Byalena Botros, Fortune, 18 Nov. 2022 There’s a great opportunity here for us to all grow together. The Indianapolis Star, 18 Nov. 2022 However, there are industry leaders who believe that the FTX collapse should be seen as an opportunity for a deeper reevaluation, and a return to the founding principle of the cryptocurrency movement: decentralization. WIRED, 18 Nov. 2022 Would Granato be open to a similar opportunity for men’s hockey? Mark Stewart, Journal Sentinel, 17 Nov. 2022 This annual party is a great opportunity for putting on your favorite all-white outfit. Anchorage Daily News, 17 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

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 29 Nov. 2022.

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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