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a risky, dubious undertaking (often with mercenary, dishonorable goals) that depends on chance for success; an action taken without regard for the realistic possibilities and, in the overwhelming majority of cases, doomed to failure.

The reactionary circles of the monopolistic bourgeoisie often rely on adventurism in their policies. An example of adventurism on a great scale that ended in failure was the policy of Hitlerism, which reigned in Germany in the years 1933–45. In international Communist and workers’ movements political adventurism—Trotskyism, “leftist” sectarian movements, and so on—damage the unity of revolutionary forces and weaken them in the struggle with imperialism.

References in classic literature ?
At the door were standing two young women, girls of the district as they call them, on their way to Seville with some carriers who had chanced to halt that night at the inn; and as, happen what might to our adventurer, everything he saw or imaged seemed to him to be and to happen after the fashion of what he read of, the moment he saw the inn he pictured it to himself as a castle with its four turrets and pinnacles of shining silver, not forgetting the drawbridge and moat and all the belongings usually ascribed to castles of the sort.
At nightfall, once in the olden time, on the rugged side of one of the Crystal Hills, a party of adventurers were refreshing themselves, after a toilsome and fruitless quest for the Great Carbuncle.
Reckless adventurers, toiling fishermen, admirals as wise and brave as the world has ever known, have waited upon the signs of his westerly sky.
If the bird was injured by any bullet that struck below the snow, it was to continue the property of its present owner; but if a feather was touched in a visible part, the animal became the prize of the successful adventurer.
His favorite, the Chevalier de Lorraine, leaning over the back of the prince's chair, was listening, with secret envy, to the Comte de Guiche, another of Philip's favorites, who was relating in choice terms the various vicissitudes of fortune of the royal adventurer Charles II.
Furthermore, that the adventurer might lack no possible advantage towards a fair start in life, this excellent old dame gave him a token by which he was to introduce himself to a certain magistrate, member of the council, merchant, and elder of the church (the four capacities constituting but one man), who stood at the head of society in the neighboring metropolis.
He is an adventurer, a blood-thirsty, murderous adventurer, for me, and nothing else.
The bands struck up, and the brilliant adventurer, Napoleon III.
More than one bold adventurer presented himself, offering to share the dangers as well as the glory of the undertaking; but he refused them all, without giving his reasons for rejecting them.
The ape-man felt a sense of deep admiration for this nameless adventurer of a bygone day.
He was an adventurer of adventurers, and by his own account had been born into adventure.
But I leave it to any one--the swell of my fifteen-years-old manhood at learning that French Frank, the adventurer of fifty, the sailor of all the seas of all the world, was jealous of me-- and jealous over a girl most romantically named the Queen of the Oyster Pirates.

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