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[op-er-too-niz-uh m, -tyoo-] /ˌɒp ərˈtu nɪz əm, -ˈtyu-/
the policy or practice, as in politics, business, or one's personal affairs, of adapting actions, decisions, etc., to expediency or effectiveness regardless of the sacrifice of ethical principles.
action or judgment in accordance with this policy.
Origin of opportunism
1865-70; < Italian opportunismo, equivalent to opportun(o) (< Latin opportūnus; see opportune) + -ismo -ism
Related forms
opportunist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for opportunism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Chamber thereupon voted the exile of the members of the families which opportunism.

  • That there may be no opportunism every citizen must be alive to the morality of politics.

    Judges and Ruth Robert A. Watson
  • I have scorned this opportunism all my life, and now I regret having scorned it.

  • No member of my family would ever be guilty of opportunism, and remain in my family.

    Angelot Eleanor Price
  • I do not think this experiment in opportunism would end in frantic license; I think it would end in frozen timidity.

    George Bernard Shaw Gilbert K. Chesterton
  • opportunism, rationalized by one or another ornamental philosophy, has been very common in modern China.

    Government in Republican China Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger
Word Origin and History for opportunism

"policy of adopting actions to circumstances while holding goals unchanged," 1870, from opportune + -ism. Cf. opportunist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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