Opportunist = bad connotation?

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Senior Member

I looked up the word "opportunist" in a dictionary. The definition does not sound so bad.

"a person who makes use of an opportunity, especially to get an advantage"

But somehow when I hear the word "opportunist" used, it is not a compliment. It has a pejorative tone to it. Am I wrong?

Thank you.

  • se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It is not always pejorative, for example in an ecological context.
    As an opportunist, the fox will take advantage of any available food, and what is found in a rural area may vary from what is found in suburbia. Also, some favourites, such as cranefly larvae, cockchafer grubs and soft or fallen fruit are seasonal.
    Red Fox Diet


    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It can very easily have pejorative overtones, Nawee. You are right.

    Cross-posted with Teddy, who is right to point out that in some circumstances it isn't critical. Certainly nature, red in tooth and claw, has almost got to be opportunist to survive.
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