[op-er-too-niz-uhm, -tyoo-]
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.

1865–70; < Italian opportunismo, equivalent to opportun(o) (< Latin opportūnus; see opportune) + -ismo -ism

opportunist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To opportunism
World English Dictionary
opportunist (ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪst)
1.  a person who adapts his actions, responses, etc, to take advantage of opportunities, circumstances, etc
2.  taking advantage of opportunities and circumstances in this way

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

1870, from opportune + -ism. Borrowed from It. opportunismo, a word in Italian politics.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
My only problem with this speech of his is that he built his fortune on
  opportunism, not the needs of the poor.
As such, polar bears provide an excellent example of evolutionary opportunism
  within a widespread mammalian lineage.
Some of it also appears as cynical political opportunism.
That's a journey from mere opportunism to pathological hypocrisy, a trip that
  only the boldest flip-floppers ever dare make.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature