Definition of opportunistic in English:



  • 1Exploiting immediate opportunities, especially regardless of planning or principle.

    ‘an opportunistic political lightweight’
    • ‘I am proud to say that this Government's position is based on environmental integrity, whereas the Opposition's position is opportunistic, and inconsistent with its earlier stance.’
    • ‘It would be even more disturbing should it emerge that the approach is an opportunistic one, seeking merely to plunder industry without regard to the wider implications.’
    • ‘Given the uncertainties that envelope them, one cannot blame them for being servile, opportunistic and selfish.’
    • ‘Mr Flavin said the group would continue to increase sales through a combination of organic growth and opportunistic acquisitions.’
    • ‘All that was needed was a sustained opportunistic exploitation and minimal encouragement of what were still rather unimportant plant food sources.’
    • ‘The company's voracious appetite for acquisitions was opportunistic and did not follow a strategic plan, the report continues, and made it difficult for investors to compare results from year to year.’
    • ‘Political ideologies are quite often opportunistic with respect to institutional questions.’
    • ‘People think of us as opportunistic and selfish people who will do anything for power, and electing a leader on the basis of who will most likely return us to power is not a good way to go about changing that!’
    • ‘We have lashed out at those we fear and allowed ourselves to be manipulated by opportunistic and exploitative politicians.’
    • ‘They are just so politically opportunistic that they are willing to put their short-term partisan interest ahead of the long-term national interest.’
    • ‘Can this deep division, composed as it is of moral, political, strategic, tactical and opportunistic elements, be bridged?’
    • ‘The drafters viewed power politics, and the opportunistic use of Security Council vetoes, as an obstacle to individual accountability under international human rights law.’
    • ‘It seems likely that this too was a politically opportunistic decision.’
    • ‘I think he took an opportunistic political move in the area.’
    • ‘In the movie, a political satire, Beatty plays an opportunistic Democrat who starts being brutally honest on the stump, eventually even talking in rap and wearing the oversized clothes of a hip-hop kid.’
    • ‘Politicians here should learn the lesson that people can see through such opportunistic politiking.’
    • ‘We are rapidly becoming a tawdry, mean, opportunistic and expedient culture, which I suppose reflects our political leadership on both sides.’
    • ‘I personally was encouraged from an early age to regard your country as opportunistic at minimum, greedy at best, and the worst bully in the playground at worst.’
    • ‘Politicians, particularly brutally opportunistic politicians, take their cue from the temper of the times.’
    • ‘These factors increase parents' vulnerability to opportunistic exploitation and raise their overall transaction costs with unfavourable implications for value creation.’
    egocentric, egotistic, egotistical, egomaniacal, self-centred, self-regarding, self-absorbed, self-obsessed, self-seeking, self-serving, wrapped up in oneself, inward-looking, introverted, self-loving
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    1. 1.1Ecology (of a plant or animal) able to spread quickly in a previously unexploited habitat.
      ‘opportunistic populations colonizing new substrates’
      • ‘Similar to the orcas described in the story, the great white shark is an opportunistic feeder.’
      • ‘The majority of species are opportunistic, preying upon anything they can overpower that comes within striking distance.’
      • ‘These disruptions have allowed opportunistic creatures to move in.’
      • ‘The aforementioned birds are as opportunistic as humans, at least as far as habitat goes.’
      • ‘In addition, the extra carbon dioxide increases plant growth - particularly for opportunistic species that thrive in cities, such as ragweed.’
    2. 1.2Medicine (of a microorganism or an infection caused by it) affecting patients only or chiefly when the immune system is depressed.
      • ‘Tuberculosis is the most frequent opportunistic infection amongst these patients with moderate to advanced immunosuppression.’
      • ‘Of the 43 patients with an opportunistic infection, 36 had a predominance of nodules smaller than 1 cm in diameter.’
      • ‘In advanced HIV infection, the presence of many opportunistic infections affecting the lungs may cause difficulties in the diagnosis of TB.’
      • ‘All patients had prior opportunistic infections.’
      • ‘Moreover, differential diagnosis to exclude opportunistic infections is difficult, due to relatively similar clinical and laboratory presentations.’