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 (ŏp′ər-to͞o′nĭ-tē, -tyo͞o′-)
n. pl. op·por·tu·ni·ties
1. A favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances.
2. A chance for progress or advancement, as in a career.
Synonyms: opportunity, occasion, opening, chance, break
These nouns refer to a favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances. Opportunity is a favorable state of affairs or a suitable time: "If you prepare yourself ... you will be able to grasp opportunity for broader experience when it appears" (Eleanor Roosevelt).
Occasion suggests the proper time for an action or purpose: "The celebration of the New Year is an occasion for optimism and hope" (Bill Clinton).
An opening is an opportunity affording a good possibility of success: She waited patiently for her opening, then proved she was ready to lead the group.
Chance often implies an opportunity that arises through luck or accident: Meeting each other at the coffee shop was a chance for us to chat.
A break is an often sudden piece of luck, especially good luck: The aspiring actor got his first big break in Hollywood.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


n, pl -ties
1. a favourable, appropriate, or advantageous combination of circumstances
2. a chance or prospect
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˌɒp ərˈtu nɪ ti, -ˈtyu-)

n., pl. -ties.
1. an appropriate or favorable time or occasion.
2. a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal.
3. a good chance or prospect, as for success.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


  • El Dorado - A place offering fabulous wealth or opportunity (after the legendary place in South America, "the gilded one").
  • ease - First meant "opportunity, ability," or "means to do something."
  • hint - First meant "an occasion or opportunity."
  • occasion - Once had the specific sense of "an opportunity for finding fault or giving offense."
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.




  1. Life was opening up … like an orchid in bloom —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  2. Opportunities, like eggs, don’t come but one at a time —Josh Billings

    In Billings’ original dialect: “Oopportunitays … kum but one at a time.”

  3. Opportunity … it fell like a lucky coin at his feet —George Garrett
  4. Possibilities rising like new mountains —Richard Ford
  5. Sometimes opportunity knocks like a loud windburst; more often it arrives like a burglar and disappears before you realize it was there —Elyse Sommer
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'occasion'

An occasion is a particular time when something happens.

I remember the occasion very well.
There are occasions when you must refuse.

You often say that something happens on a particular occasion.

I think it would be better if I went alone on this occasion.
I met him only on one occasion.

An occasion is also an important event, ceremony, or celebration.

It was a wonderful end to an unforgettable occasion.
They have fixed the date for the big occasion.
2. 'opportunity' and 'chance'

Don't use occasion to refer to a situation in which it is possible for someone to do something. Instead, use opportunity or chance.

I am very grateful to have had the opportunity of working with Paul.
She put the phone down before I had a chance to reply.
See chance


1. 'opportunity'

An opportunity is a situation in which it is possible for something to be done. You talk about an opportunity for something or an opportunity to do something.

They must regard it as an opportunity for a genuine new start.
They don't even give them the opportunity to become better.

You can also talk about an opportunity for doing something, especially if you use an adjective such as perfect or excellent in front of opportunity.

This was a marvellous opportunity for exchanging gossip with the other girls.
This provides an excellent opportunity for bird-watching.

You can also talk about the opportunity of doing something.

This gave him the opportunity of developing his talent as a teacher.
2. 'no opportunity'

You can say there is no opportunity to do something.

I suppose you had no opportunity to bring it.
For some reason he had had no opportunity to eat the day before.
3. 'chance'

Chance is used in a similar way to opportunity.

See chance


1. 'possibility'

If there is a possibility of something happening or being true, it might happen or be true.

There was a possibility that they had taken the wrong road.
We must accept the possibility that we might be wrong.

If there is no possibility of something happening or being true, it cannot happen or be true.

There was now no possibility of success.
There is no possibility that he did that accidentally.

If you talk or think about the possibility of doing something, you are considering whether to do it.

He talked about the possibility of getting married.

Be Careful!
Don't say 'He talked about the possibility to get married.'

2. 'opportunity'

When a situation makes it possible for someone to do something, don't say that they have 'the possibility to do' it. Say that they have the opportunity to do it or the opportunity of doing it.

You will have the opportunity to study several different subjects in your first year.
Sadly, I never had the opportunity of meeting him.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.opportunity - a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstancesopportunity - a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances; "the holiday gave us the opportunity to visit Washington"; "now is your chance"
possibleness, possibility - capability of existing or happening or being true; "there is a possibility that his sense of smell has been impaired"
brass ring - a rich opportunity or a prize; "he missed the brass ring at the Miami convention"
day - a period of opportunity; "he deserves his day in court"; "every dog has his day"
clean slate, fresh start, tabula rasa - an opportunity to start over without prejudice
hearing, audience - an opportunity to state your case and be heard; "they condemned him without a hearing"; "he saw that he had lost his audience"
hunting ground - a place where opportunities abound
occasion - an opportunity to do something; "there was never an occasion for her to demonstrate her skill"
opening - opportunity especially for employment or promotion; "there is an opening in the sales department"
room - opportunity for; "room for improvement"
say - the chance to speak; "let him have his say"
shot, crack - a chance to do something; "he wanted a shot at the champion"
street - a situation offering opportunities; "he worked both sides of the street"; "cooperation is a two-way street"
throw - a single chance or instance; "he couldn't afford $50 a throw"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


noun chance, opening, time, turn, hour, break (informal), moment, window, possibility, occasion, slot, scope, look-in (informal), opRtunET (S.M.S.) I was given an opportunity to bathe and shower. I had the opportunity to go abroad and study.
"When the cat's away, the mice will play"
"Never look a gift horse in the mouth"
"When one door shuts, another door opens"
"Strike while the iron is hot"
"There is no time like the present"
"He who hesitates is lost"
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


A favorable or advantageous combination of circumstances:
Informal: shot.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
laiku padarytasoportunistasoportunizmasprisitaikėlisprisitaikėliškumas
cơ hội


[ˈɒpəˈtjuːnɪtɪ] Noportunidad f, ocasión f
at the earliest opportunityen la primera oportunidad, cuanto antes
equality of opportunityigualdad f de oportunidades
he criticized her at every opportunityla criticaba siempre que se le presentaba la ocasión or en cuanto podía
at the first opportunityen la primera oportunidad, cuanto antes
opportunities for promotionoportunidades de promoción
when I get the opportunitycuando se me presente la oportunidad or la ocasión, cuando tenga ocasión
we were given no opportunity to prepare ourselvesno se nos ofreció la oportunidad or la ocasión de prepararnos
given the opportunity, he'll watch TV all daysi le dejases, se pasaría el día entero viendo la tele
to have the/an opportunity to do sth, have the/an opportunity of doing sthtener la oportunidad de hacer algo
I haven't had an opportunity of talking to himno he tenido la oportunidad de hablar con él
to miss one's opportunityperder la oportunidad
he never missed an opportunity to criticize hernunca dejaba pasar la oportunidad de criticarla
to seize the/one's opportunityaprovechar la oportunidad or ocasión
to take the opportunity to do sth, take the opportunity of doing sthaprovechar la oportunidad or la ocasión para hacer algo
see also equal D
see also job C
see also photo
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˌɒpərˈtjuːnɪti] n
(= chance) → occasion f
an opportunity to do sth → une occasion de faire qch
an opportunity to meet all kinds of people → une occasion de rencontrer toutes sortes de gens
to take the opportunity of doing sth → profiter de l'occasion pour faire qch
to have the opportunity to do sth → avoir l'occasion de faire qch
I've never had the opportunity to go to France → Je n'ai jamais eu l'occasion d'aller en France.
at the first opportunity (= as soon as possible) → à la première occasion
(in life, career)opportunité f
more opportunities for women → plus d'opportunités pour les femmes
lack of opportunity → le manque d'opportunités
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


Gelegenheit f; at the first or earliest opportunitybei der erstbesten Gelegenheit; I have little/no opportunity for listening or to listen to musicich habe wenig/nie Gelegenheit, Musik zu hören; to take/seize the opportunity to do something or of doing somethingdie Gelegenheit nutzen/ergreifen, etw zu tun; as soon as I get the opportunitysobald sich die Gelegenheit ergibt; opportunity makes the thief (Prov) → Gelegenheit macht Diebe (Prov)
(= chance to better oneself)Chance f, → Möglichkeit f; opportunities for promotionAufstiegsmöglichkeiten or -chancen pl; equality of opportunityChancengleichheit f
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˌɒpəˈtjuːnɪtɪ] nopportunità f inv, occasione f
to have the opportunity to do or of doing → avere l'opportunità di fare
to take the opportunity to do or of doing → cogliere l'occasione per fare
at the earliest opportunity → appena possibile, alla prima occasione
when I (or you ) get the opportunity → quando capita l'occasione
to miss one's opportunity → perdere l'occasione
opportunities for promotion → possibilità fpl di carriera
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(opəˈtjuːnəti) plural opporˈtunities noun
a chance to do or a time for doing (something). an opportunity to go to Rome; You've had several opportunities to ask him.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


فُرْصَّةٌ příležitost mulighed Gelegenheit ευκαιρία oportunidad tilaisuus chance prilika opportunità 機会 기회 gelegenheid mulighet możliwość oportunidade возможность möjlighet โอกาส fırsat cơ hội 机会
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009


n. oportunidad, ocasión.
English-Spanish Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012
References in classic literature ?
And in examining their actions and lives one cannot see that they owed anything to fortune beyond opportunity, which brought them the material to mould into the form which seemed best to them.
Such work gives one a rare opportunity to study human nature.
Lydgate, not willing to let slip an opportunity of furthering a favorite purpose, ventured to say--
She made the first use of the opportunity the day after old Chester's death; indeed, as soon as the news had filtered in through the back door of Diana's Grove.
But the opportunity of carrying out this project has proved to be one of the lost opportunities of my life.
The Wolf therefore, thinking that he had a capital opportunity, accused the Fox to the Lion of not paying any respect to him who had the rule over them all and of not coming to visit him.
Circumstances of an imperious nature, which it is unnecessary to relate here, had prevented him from taking service with that gallant army which had fought the disastrous campaigns ending with the fall of Corinth, and he chafed under the inglorious restraint, longing for the release of his energies, the larger life of the soldier, the opportunity for distinction.
I shall not lose you so soon, and Edward will have greater opportunity of improving that natural taste for your favourite pursuit which must be so indispensably necessary to your future felicity.
Finding us distinguished, as a nation, by our love of athletic exercises, the little man, in the innocence of his heart, devoted himself impromptu to all our English sports and pastimes whenever he had the opportunity of joining them; firmly persuaded that he could adopt our national amusements of the field by an effort of will precisely as he had adopted our national gaiters and our national white hat.
It was their opportunity. It was also my opportunity; and it would be vain to discourse about what I made of it in a handful of pages, since the pages themselves are here, between the covers of this volume, to speak for themselves.
After this attack it was not long but he found an opportunity to catch me again, and almost in the same posture; indeed, it had more of design in it on his part, though not on my part.
Sun Tzu said: The good fighters of old first put themselves beyond the possibility of defeat, and then waited for an opportunity of defeating the enemy.

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