- an act or instance of making or becoming open.
- the act of a person or thing that opens.
- an unobstructed or unoccupied space or place.
- a void in solid matter; a gap, hole, or aperture.
- a tract of land thinly wooded as compared with adjoining forest tracts.
- the act of beginning; start; commencement: the opening of a new session of Congress.
- the first part or initial stage of anything.
- an employment vacancy; an unfilled position or job: There are no openings for clerks today.
- an opportunity; chance.
- a formal or official beginning, as of a sport season or a season's sale of goods: the opening of the deer-hunting season; Swimsuits sold well at the summer opening.
- the first performance of a theatrical production.
- the first public showing or use of something: the opening of an art exhibition.
- a celebration of the first public showing or performance or of the first use or start of something: The new supermarket is going to give away prizes at its opening.
- Law. the statement of the case made by counsel to the court or jury preliminary to adducing evidence.
- a mode of beginning a game: a manual of chess openings.
Origin of opening
SynonymsSee more synonyms for opening on Thesaurus.com
- not closed or barred at the time, as a doorway by a door, a window by a sash, or a gateway by a gate: to leave the windows open at night.
- (of a door, gate, window sash, or the like) set so as to permit passage through the opening it can be used to close.
- having no means of closing or barring: an open portico.
- having the interior immediately accessible, as a box with the lid raised or a drawer that is pulled out.
- relatively free of obstructions to sight, movement, or internal arrangement: an open floor plan.
- constructed so as to be without cover or enclosure on the top or on some or all sides: an open boat.
- having relatively large or numerous spaces, voids, or intervals: an open architectural screen; open ranks of soldiers.
- perforated or porous: an open texture.
- relatively unoccupied by buildings, fences, trees, etc.: open country.
- not covered or closed; with certain parts apart: open eyes; open mouth.
- without a covering, especially a protective covering; unprotected; unenclosed; exposed: an open wound; open electrical wires.
- extended or unfolded: an open newspaper.
- without restrictions as to who may participate: an open competition; an open session.
- accessible or available to follow: the only course still open to us.
- not taken or filled; not preempted; available; vacant: Which job is open?
- ready for or carrying on normal trade or business: The new store is now open. The office is open on Saturdays.
- not engaged or committed: Have you any open time on Monday?
- accessible, as to appeals, ideas, or offers: to be open to suggestion.
- exposed to general view or knowledge; existing, carried on, etc., without concealment: open disregard of the rules.
- acting publicly or without concealment, as a person.
- unreserved, candid, or frank, as persons or their speech, aspect, etc.: an open manner.
- generous, liberal, or bounteous: to give with an open hand.
- liable or subject: open to question; open to retaliation.
- undecided; unsettled: several open questions.
- without effective or enforced legal, commercial, or moral regulations: an open town.
- unguarded by an opponent: an open wide receiver.
- noting the part of the sea beyond headlands or enclosing areas of land: to sail on the open seas.
- free of ice, as a body of water or a seaport.
- free of navigational hazards: an open coast.
- (of a seaport) available for foreign trade; not closed by government regulations or by considerations of health.
- (of a microphone) in operation; live.
- (of a delimiting punctuation mark) occurring at the beginning of a group of words or characters that is set off, as from surrounding text: open parenthesis; open quotes.Compare close(def 51).
- not yet balanced or adjusted, as an account.
- not constipated, as the bowels.
- Linguistics. (of a class of items) readily admitting new members, as the class of nouns, verbs, or adjectives (opposed to closed).
- (of type) in outline form.
- widely spaced or leaded, as printed matter.
- (of an organ pipe) not closed at the far end.
- (of a string) not stopped by a finger.
- (of a note) produced by such a pipe or string or, on a wind instrument, without the aid of a slide, key, etc.
- (of an interval) containing neither endpoint.
- (of a set) consisting of points having neighborhoods wholly contained in the set, as the set of points within a circle.
- (of a map from one topological space to another) having the property that the image of an open set is an open set.
- free from frost; mild or moderate: an open winter.
- Animal Husbandry. (of a female animal) not pregnant.
- Textiles. (of a fabric or weave) so loosely woven that spaces are visible between warp and filling yarns.
- to move (a door, window sash, etc.) from a shut or closed position so as to admit of passage.
- to render (a doorway, gateway, window, etc.) unobstructed by moving a door, window sash, etc., away from it.
- to render the interior of (a box, drawer, etc.) readily accessible.
- to clear (a passage, channel, etc.) of obstructions.
- to clear (areas or passages in the body).
- to give access to; make accessible or available, as for use: to open a port for trade.
- to establish for business purposes or for public use: to open an office.
- to set in action, begin, start, or commence (sometimes followed by up): to open a campaign.
- to uncover, lay bare, or expose to view.
- to expand, unfold, or spread out: to open a map.
- to make less compact, less closely spaced, or the like: to open ranks.
- to disclose, reveal, or divulge.
- to render accessible to knowledge, enlightenment, sympathy, etc.: to open one's mind.
- to cut, blast, or break into: to open a safe with nitro.
- to make or produce (an opening) by cutting or breaking, or by pushing aside or removing obstructions: to open a way through a crowd.
- to make an incision or opening in: to open a boil.
- to recall or revoke (a judgment, decree, etc.) for the purpose of allowing further contest or delay.
- to make the first statement of (a case) to the court or jury.
- Cards. to begin a hand by making (the first bid), placing (the first bet), or playing (a given card or suit) as the lead.
- Nautical. to sail (a course) so that the apparent location of a distant fixed object changes with relation to a nearer fixed object (sometimes followed by out).
- to become open, as a door, building, box, or enclosure.
- to afford access: a door that opens into a garden.
- to have an opening, passage, or outlet: The room opens into a corridor.
- (of a building, theater, etc.) to open its doors to the public: The museum opens at one o'clock.
- to begin a session or term, as a school.
- to begin a season, series of performances, or tour, as a theatrical company: The play will open in Boston.
- to begin, start, or commence an activity: The game opened with the national anthem.
- to part, or seem to part, so as to allow or reveal a passage: At last the cliffs opened to show us that we were heading for the sea.
- to become disclosed or revealed.
- to come into view; become more visible or plain.
- to become receptive to knowledge, sympathy, etc., as the mind.
- to disclose or reveal one's knowledge, thoughts, feelings, etc.
- to unfold or expand, as a blossom, so as to reveal the interior.
- to spread out or expand, as the hand or a fan.
- to spread apart or separate, as pages of a book, newspaper, etc.: Open to page 32.
- to spread or come apart; burst: The wound opened.
- to become less compact, less closely spaced, or the like: The ranks began to open.
- Cards. to make the first bet, bid, or lead in beginning a hand.
- Hunting. (of hounds) to begin to bark, as on the scent of game.
- an open or clear space.
- the open air.
- the open water, as of the sea.
- an opening or aperture.
- an opening or opportunity.
- a contest or tournament in which both amateurs and professionals may compete, especially in golf and tennis.
- the open,
- the unenclosed or unobstructed country.
- the outdoors: Vacations in the open are fine for the entire family.
- the condition of being unconcealed, recognized, or publicly known: The scandal is now out in the open.
- open up,
- to become or make open.
- to expand, especially before the eye: A breathtaking panorama opened up as we reached the top of the hill.
- to achieve the initial development of: to open up a business office; to open up trade with China.
- Slang.to increase speed or the speed of (a vehicle).
Origin of open
SynonymsSee more synonyms for open on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for opening
Rather than downing a handful of pills, I planned to take my life by opening a vein in each wrist.Dear Leelah, We Will Fight On For You: A Letter to a Dead Trans Teen
January 1, 2015
The ancient Egyptian festival of Wepet Renpet (“opening of the year”) was not just a time of rebirth—it was dedicated to drinking.New Year’s Eve, Babylon Style
December 31, 2014
They keep their heads low while running behind a large curtain covering the opening between two housing blocks.The Brothers Who Ambushed ISIS
Mohammed A. Salih
December 27, 2014
Although a hit in Britain, the movie flopped after opening at Radio City in New York.How Dickens and Scrooge Saved Christmas
December 22, 2014
The opening of the battle narrative begins on—get this—page 266!Hitler’s Hail Mary
James A. Warren
December 20, 2014
Here's copper just closed at 93, after opening strong this morning at 105.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
What opening for extrication, unless, indeed, Emilia should die?Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
Tulips are opening their variegated cups, and daffodils line the walls.The Conquest of Fear
She started suddenly awake, seeming to have been roused by the opening of a door.Weighed and Wanting
It was strewn with pink buds; some just opening into beauty, some half-blown.Ester Ried Yet Speaking
- the act of making or becoming open
- a vacant or unobstructed space, esp one that will serve as a passageway; gap
- mainly US a tract in a forest in which trees are scattered or absent
- the first part or stage of something
- the first performance of something, esp a theatrical production
- (as modifier)the opening night
- a specific or formal sequence of moves at the start of any of certain games, esp chess or draughts
- an opportunity or chance, esp for employment or promotion in a business concern
- law the preliminary statement made by counsel to the court or jury before adducing evidence in support of his case
- not closed or barredthe door is open
- affording free passage, access, view, etc; not blocked or obstructedthe road is open for traffic
- not sealed, fastened, or wrappedan open package
- having the interior part accessiblean open drawer
- extended, expanded, or unfoldedan open newspaper; an open flower
- ready for businessthe shops are open
- able to be obtained; availablethe position advertised last week is no longer open
- unobstructed by buildings, trees, etcopen countryside
- free to all to join, enter, use, visit, etcan open competition
- unengaged or unoccupiedthe doctor has an hour open for you to call
- See open season
- not decided or finalizedan open question
- ready to entertain new ideas; not biased or prejudicedan open mind
- unreserved or candidshe was very open in her description
- liberal or generousan open hand
- extended or eager to receive (esp in the phrase with open arms)
- exposed to view; blatantopen disregard of the law
- liable or susceptibleyou will leave yourself open to attack if you speak
- (of climate or seasons) free from frost; mild
- free from navigational hazards, such as ice, sunken ships, etcopen water
- US without legal restrictions or enforceable regulations, esp in relation to gambling, vice, etcan open town
- without barriers to prevent abscondingan open prison
- having large or numerous spacing or aperturesopen ranks
- full of small openings or gaps; porousan open texture
- printing (of type matter) generously leaded or widely spaced
- (of a violin or guitar string) not stopped with the finger
- (of a pipe, such as an organ pipe) not closed at either end
- (of a note) played on such a string or pipe
- in operation; activean open account
- unrestricted; unlimitedopen credit; open insurance cover
- See open cheque
- (of a return ticket) not specifying a date for travel
- (of a goal, court, etc) unguarded or relatively unprotectedthe forward missed an open goal
- (of a stance, esp in golf) characterized by the front of the body being turned forward
- (of a wound) exposed to the air
- (esp of the large intestine) free from obstruction
- undefended and of no military significancean open city
- denoting a vowel pronounced with the lips relatively wide apart
- denoting a syllable that does not end in a consonant, as in pa
- chess (of a file) having no pawns on it
- maths (of a set) containing points whose neighbourhood consists of other points of the same setpoints inside a circle are an open set
- computing (of software or a computer system) designed to an internationally agreed standard in order to allow communication between computers, irrespective of size, maufacturer, etc
- to move or cause to move from a closed or fastened positionto open a window
- (when intr, foll by on or onto) to render, be, or become accessible or unobstructedto open a road; to open a parcel; the door opens into the hall
- (intr) to come into or appear in viewthe lake opened before us
- (tr) to puncture (a boil) so as to permit drainage
- to extend or unfold or cause to extend or unfoldto open a newspaper
- to disclose or uncover or be disclosed or uncoveredto open one's heart
- to cause (the mind) to become receptive or (of the mind) to become receptive
- to operate or cause to operateto open a shop
- (when intr, sometimes foll by out) to make or become less compact or dense in structureto open ranks
- to set or be set in action; startto open a discussion; to open the batting
- (tr) to arrange for (a bank account, savings account, etc) usually by making an initial deposit
- to turn to a specified point in (a book, magazine, etc)open at page one
- law to make the opening statement in (a case before a court of law)
- (intr) cards to bet, bid, or lead first on a hand
- the open any wide or unobstructed space or expanse, esp of land or water
- See open air
- sport a competition which anyone may enter
- bring into the open to make evident or public
- come into the open to become) evident or public
Word Origin and History for opening
Old English openung "act of opening" (a door, mouth, etc.), "disclosure, manifestation," verbal noun from present participle of open (v.). Meaning "vacant space, hole, aperture, doorway" is attested from c.1200. Meaning "act of opening (a place, to the public)" is from late 14c. Sense of "action of beginning (something)" is from 1712; meaning "first performance of a play" is 1855; "start of an art exhibit" is from 1905. Sense of "opportunity, chance" is from 1793.
early 13c., "an aperture or opening," from open (adj.). Meaning "public knowledge" (especially in out in the open) is from 1942, but cf. Middle English in open (late 14c.) "manifestly, publicly." The sense of "an open competition" is from 1926, originally in a golf context.
Old English openian "to open, open up, disclose, reveal," also intransitive, "become manifest, be open to or exposed to," from Proto-Germanic *opanojan (cf. Old Saxon opanon, Old Norse opna "to open," Middle Dutch, Dutch openen, Old High German offanon, German öffnen), from the source of open (adj.), but etymology suggests the adjective is older. Open up "cease to be secretive" is from 1921. Related: Opened; opening.
Old English open "not closed down, raised up" (of gates, eyelids, etc.), also "exposed, evident, well-known, public," often in a bad sense, "notorious, shameless;" from Proto-Germanic *upana, literally "put or set up" (cf. Old Norse opinn, Swedish öppen, Danish aaben, Old Saxon opan, Old Frisian epen, Old High German offan, German offen "open"), from PIE *upo "up from under, over" (cf. Latin sub, Greek hypo; see sub-). Related to up, and throughout Germanic the word has the appearance of a past participle of *up (v.), but no such verb has been found. The source of words for "open" in many Indo-European languages seems to be an opposite of the word for "closed, shut" (e.g. Gothic uslukan).
Of physical spaces, "unobstructed, unencumbered," c.1200; of rooms with unclosed entrances, c.1300; of wounds, late 14c. Transferred sense of "frank, candid" is attested from early 14c. Of shops, etc., "available for business," it dates from 1824. Open-handed "liberal, generous" is from c.1600. Open door in reference to international trading policies is attested from 1856. Open season is first recorded 1896, of game; and figuratively 1914 of persons. Open book in the figurative sense of "person easy to understand" is from 1853. Open house "hospitality for all visitors" is first recorded 1824. Open-and-shut "simple, straightforward" first recorded 1841 in New Orleans. Open marriage, one in which the partners sleep with whomever they please, is from 1972. Open road (1817, American English) originally meant a public one; romanticized sense of "traveling as an expression of personal freedom" first recorded 1856, in Whitman.
- The act or an instance of becoming unobstructed or of being made to open.
- An open space that serves as a passage or gap.
- A breach or aperture.
Idioms and Phrases with opening
In addition to the idioms beginning with open
- open and aboveboard
- open and shut
- open book
- open doors
- open fire
- open house, keep
- open mind
- open one's eyes
- open one's heart to
- open one's mouth
- open question
- open season on
- open secret
- open the door to
- open up
- open with
- keep a weather eye (open)
- keep one's eyes open
- lay open
- leave open
- leave the door open
- not open one's mouth
- out in the open
- throw open
- wide open
- with one's eyes open
- with open arms