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I'm looking for a word that means a person seized an opportunity or acted on some sort of signal/sign in non-ideal circumstances.

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Welcome to EL&U! In the future, could you please capitalize and such? This is not your typical forum. – simchona Oct 2 '11 at 4:46
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More context, please. I don't understand exactly what circumstance you want this word for. – Peter Shor Oct 2 '11 at 15:24

A noun to describe someone who seizes an opportunity is an opportunist.

You could say that such a person:

acts opportunistically

takes advantage of a situation

capitalizes on an opportunity

exploits a situation

etc.

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