Definition of opportunistic in US English:



  • 1Exploiting chances offered by immediate circumstances without reference to a general plan or moral principle.

    ‘the change was cynical and opportunistic’
    • ‘Politicians here should learn the lesson that people can see through such opportunistic politiking.’
    • ‘These factors increase parents' vulnerability to opportunistic exploitation and raise their overall transaction costs with unfavourable implications for value creation.’
    • ‘All that was needed was a sustained opportunistic exploitation and minimal encouragement of what were still rather unimportant plant food sources.’
    • ‘I think he took an opportunistic political move in the area.’
    • ‘Mr Flavin said the group would continue to increase sales through a combination of organic growth and opportunistic acquisitions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘They are just so politically opportunistic that they are willing to put their short-term partisan interest ahead of the long-term national interest.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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!’
    • ‘Political ideologies are quite often opportunistic with respect to institutional questions.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We have lashed out at those we fear and allowed ourselves to be manipulated by opportunistic and exploitative politicians.’
    • ‘We are rapidly becoming a tawdry, mean, opportunistic and expedient culture, which I suppose reflects our political leadership on both sides.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The drafters viewed power politics, and the opportunistic use of Security Council vetoes, as an obstacle to individual accountability under international human rights law.’
    • ‘Can this deep division, composed as it is of moral, political, strategic, tactical and opportunistic elements, be bridged?’
    • ‘It seems likely that this too was a politically opportunistic decision.’
    • ‘Politicians, particularly brutally opportunistic politicians, take their cue from the temper of the times.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.
      • ‘Similar to the orcas described in the story, the great white shark is an opportunistic feeder.’
      • ‘In addition, the extra carbon dioxide increases plant growth - particularly for opportunistic species that thrive in cities, such as ragweed.’
      • ‘The aforementioned birds are as opportunistic as humans, at least as far as habitat goes.’
      • ‘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.’
    2. 1.2Medicine (of a microorganism or an infection caused by it) rarely affecting patients except in unusual circumstances, typically when the immune system is depressed.
      • ‘Tuberculosis is the most frequent opportunistic infection amongst these patients with moderate to advanced immunosuppression.’
      • ‘All patients had prior opportunistic infections.’
      • ‘Of the 43 patients with an opportunistic infection, 36 had a predominance of nodules smaller than 1 cm in diameter.’
      • ‘Moreover, differential diagnosis to exclude opportunistic infections is difficult, due to relatively similar clinical and laboratory presentations.’
      • ‘In advanced HIV infection, the presence of many opportunistic infections affecting the lungs may cause difficulties in the diagnosis of TB.’