[ oh-puhn-uhn-shuht ]
See synonyms for open-and-shut on
  1. immediately obvious upon consideration; easily decided: an open-and-shut case of murder.

Origin of open-and-shut

An Americanism dating back to 1835–45

Words Nearby open-and-shut Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use open-and-shut in a sentence

  • And sometimes the open-and-shut of the steam hog had to go pfisty-pfoost, pfisty-pfoost.

    Rootabaga Stories | Carl Sandburg
  • I'm not suspecting anything, mind, but this has got to be an open-and-shut deal, or I don't go in.

    The Boy With the U.S. Miners | Francis Rolt-Wheeler
  • Boys, it's a clean, open-and-shut job—with absolutely nothing to interfere.

    The Sky Line of Spruce | Edison Marshall
  • But McNeill's could not afford to be shown up before thirty interested rivermen as running an open-and-shut brace-game.

    The Riverman | Stewart Edward White
  • But it had been all over in a breath, just an open-and-shut piece of battiness, same as fellers have when they jump a bridge.

    Shorty McCabe | Sewell Ford

British Dictionary definitions for open-and-shut


  1. easily decided or solved; obvious: an open-and-shut case

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with open-and-shut


Simple, straightforward, easily solved, as in With three eyewitnesses, the prosecutor said this case was open and shut. This term suggests that one has immediate access to the facts of a situation. [c. 1840]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.