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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for opportunism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I have scorned this opportunism all my life, and now I regret having scorned it.

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

    Judges and Ruth Robert A. Watson
  • No member of my family would ever be guilty of opportunism, and remain in my family.

    Angelot Eleanor Price
  • For that is just what opportunism wants—to keep these two questions in abeyance.

    Anarchism and Socialism

    George Plechanoff
  • Is not this the opportunism of both a Browning and a Gladstone?

    Browning and His Century Helen Archibald Clarke
  • He wanted advice, he wanted to be confirmed in his own opportunism, as a starving beggar may want food.

    The Price of Love

    Arnold Bennett
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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