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opportunist

[op-er-too-nist, -tyoo-] /ˌɒp ərˈtu nɪst, -ˈtyu-/
noun
1.
a person who practices opportunism, or the policy of adapting actions, decisions, etc., to effectiveness regardless of the sacrifice of ethical principles:
He is an extreme opportunist and always thinks the ends justify the means.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for opportunist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Seizing every opportunity as it arose, he was the type of what is to-day called in France an opportunist.

    The Life of Napoleon Bonaparte William Milligan Sloane
  • He was an opportunist, and now, he fondly imagined, was his opportunity.

    Mistress Wilding Rafael Sabatini
  • We won't admit he's just a latter-day tyrant, an opportunist seizing power because it's there crying to be seized.

    Border, Breed Nor Birth Dallas McCord Reynolds
  • In philosophy she was a Platonist, in politics an opportunist.

    A Critic in Pall Mall Oscar Wilde
  • She was strong enough in body and mind, but very uncertain philosophically and morally—a dreamer and opportunist.

    The "Genius" Theodore Dreiser
  • Yet he is a materialist, an opportunist, and mainly trusts to brute force.

  • That astute Italian diplomat was himself temperamentally an opportunist.

British Dictionary definitions for opportunist

opportunist

/ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪst/
noun
1.
a person who adapts his actions, responses, etc, to take advantage of opportunities, circumstances, etc
adjective
2.
taking advantage of opportunities and circumstances in this way
Derived Forms
opportunism, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for opportunist
n.

1881, from opportunism (q.v.) + -ist. A word in Italian politics, later applied in French by Rochefort to Gambetta (1876) and then generally in English to any who seek to profit from the prevailing circumstances.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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