Definition of have (or with) an eye to (or for or on) the main chance in US English:

have (or with) an eye to (or for or on) the main chance

phrase

  • Look or be looking for an opportunity to take advantage of a situation for personal gain, typically a financial one.

    ‘a developer with an eye on the main chance’
    • ‘Rodney's peasants were altogether more feisty: often badly behaved, with an eye to the main chance, but also loyal to one another, and doggedly opposed to external oppressors.’
    • ‘It seems the Libs turned down the opportunity to tag along, but the Nats, always with an eye on the main chance, took up their position with considerable enthusiasm.’
    • ‘This is exactly the problem with people who always have an eye to the main chance.’
    • ‘But like their fathers and grandfathers before them, the modern day provos were always ones with an eye to the main chance.’
    • ‘Always with an eye for the main chance, especially in agricultural commerce, Haraszthy initiated the first steamboat service on the Wisconsin and upper Mississippi rivers.’
    • ‘Fast, elusive and with an eye for the main chance, O'Driscoll was the best back on display.’
    • ‘By the end of the year, McAlpine, a softly spoken Scot with an eye for the main chance, will have conquered the toughest city on earth and the toughest business in town - the movies.’
    • ‘But it had, in community councillor Roy Surplice, a man with an eye for the main chance.’
    • ‘So was Pultizer just another savvy, opportunistic American businessman with an eye on the main chance?’
    • ‘They have an eye for the main chance like no political machine in the history of the world.’