opportunist :

opportunist

When applied to people, the label “opportunist” usually has negative connotations. It implies that the people so labeled take unprincipled, unfair advantage of opportunities for selfish ends. Opportunistic people are often also regarded as exploitative. The term is often used to label unscrupulous politicians who seek to manipulate voters in their favor by exploiting certain issues or opportunities in an unethical way.Sports commentators who call the skillful interceptor of a pass in football an “opportunist” are misusing the word.If you want to praise people for taking legitimate and skilled advantage of opportunities that spring up, it is better to call them “enterprising” or “quick-witted.” The specialized meaning of “opportunistic” in biology does not cause problems because the people who use the word in this sense know what it describes: the ability of a species to exploit a previously unexploited ecological niche.

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Definitions

  • n  a person who places expediency above principle
  • s  taking immediate advantage, often unethically, of any circumstance of possible benefit
News & Articles

  • Poll shows higher approval ratings for Rick Scott
    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's path to re-election likely revolves around casting his potential Democratic opponent Charlie Crist as a political opportunist devoid of principles, a new poll on the 2014 race suggests.        
    June 19, 2013 - Sun-Sentinel
  • Would-be Iowa 1st District GOP candidate branded ‘compromiser,’ ‘opportunist’
    The gloves are coming off in what is likely to become a three-way race for the GOP nomination in Iowa’s 1 st District. “He’s an opportunist,” Blum said, claiming Paulsen would not be thinking about running if it wasn’t an open-seat race.
    June 19, 2013 - The Gazette
  • Poll shows higher approval ratings for Scott
    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's path to re-election likely revolves around casting his potential Democratic opponent Charlie Crist as a political opportunist devoid of principles, a new poll on the 2014 race suggests.        
    June 18, 2013 - Orlando Sentinel