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90s Slang You Should Know


[wahyd-oh-puh n] /ˈwaɪdˈoʊ pən/
opened to the full extent:
a wide-open window.
lacking laws or strict enforcement of laws concerning liquor, vice, gambling, etc.:
a wide-open town.
Origin of wide-open
First recorded in 1850-55 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for wide open
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He reached the green door, and with no surprise found it wide open.

    Aunt Rachel David Christie Murray
  • The room was empty, and the only cupboard which might have concealed an intruder was wide open.

    Jack O' Judgment Edgar Wallace
  • Hello, Ned, called Sleuth, as he again grasped the knob and gave the door a push which flung it wide open.

  • She came to the door and threw it wide open and bade them enter.

  • Her eyes were wide open, vacant of expression, but set upon Antony Ferrara's ungloved left hand.

British Dictionary definitions for wide open


adjective (wide open when postpositive)
open to the full extent
(postpositive) exposed to attack; vulnerable
uncertain as to outcome
(US, informal) (of a town or city) lax in the enforcement of certain laws, esp those relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol, gambling, the control of vice, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for wide open

wide open

adjective phrase

  1. Free of police hindrance; hospitable to profitable vice: Phoenix City was a famous wide-open town (1892+)
  2. Vulnerable; open to attack (1915+ Boxing)
  3. Going at full speed; flat out, like sixty

adverb phrase

: He always drove his bike wide open

[third sense from wide-open throttle, probably fr railroading]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with wide open

wide open

Unresolved, unsettled, as in The fate of that former colony is still wide open. [ Mid-1900s ]
Unprotected or vulnerable, as in That remark about immigrants left him wide open to hostile criticism . This expression originated in boxing, where it signifies being off one's guard and open to an opponent's punches. It began to be used more broadly about 1940. Also see leave open
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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