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[op-er-too-nist, -tyoo-] /ˌɒp ərˈtu nɪst, -ˈtyu-/
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for opportunist
  • He is a hustler of sensibility, an opportunist of inspiration.
  • But his conduct in government has been opportunist and erratic.
  • The plant is considered a hardy opportunist and, left unchecked will outcompete native shrubs and trees.
  • Chalmers is a nitwit and an opportunist who steals ideas from others.
  • Even many of his critics see him as a deluded knight-errant rather than as a venal opportunist.
  • Here, to survive our winters, these opportunist birds have adapted.
  • The price was right and he sold: such are the strengths of the opportunist.
  • He was an opportunist who was willing to damage the country to support his ambitions.
  • But it has also unleashed a torrent of criticism from fellow politicians who have called her an opportunist and a hypocrite.
  • But he was first and foremost a political opportunist.
British Dictionary definitions for opportunist


a person who adapts his actions, responses, etc, to take advantage of opportunities, circumstances, etc
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
1881, from opportune + -ist. Borrowed from It. opportunismo, a word in Italian politics, later applied in French to Gambetta (1881) and then generally in English to any who seek to profit from the prevailing circumstances. Related: Opportunistic.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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