open

1 of 3

adjective

ˈō-pən How to pronounce open (audio)
-pᵊm
opener
ˈōp-nər,
ˈō-pə- How to pronounce open (audio)
; openest
ˈōp-nəst,
ˈō-pə- How to pronounce open (audio)
1
: having no enclosing or confining barrier : accessible on all or nearly all sides
cattle grazing on an open range
2
a(1)
: being in a position or adjustment to permit passage : not shut or locked
an open door
(2)
: having a barrier (such as a door) so adjusted as to allow passage
the house was open
b
: having the lips parted
stood there with his mouth wide open
c
: not buttoned or zipped
an open shirt
3
a
: completely free from concealment : exposed to general view or knowledge
their hostilities eventually erupted with open war
b
: exposed or vulnerable to attack or question : subject
open to doubt
c
: being an operation or surgical procedure in which an incision is made such that the tissues are fully exposed
4
a
: not covered with a top, roof, or lid
an open car
her eyes were open
b
: having no protective covering
open wiring
5
a
: having the skin cracked, cut, or broken so that underlying tissue is exposed
abrasions, lacerations, and other open wounds
see also open fracture
b
of a head injury : marked by fracture or penetration of the skull
6
: not restricted to a particular group or category of participants
open to the public
open housing
: such as
a
: enterable by both amateur (see amateur sense 1) and professional (see professional entry 1 sense 2a) contestants
an open tournament
b
: enterable by a registered voter regardless of political affiliation
an open primary
7
a
: presenting no obstacle to passage or view : : not enclosed, obstructed, or filled with objects
the open road
open country
see also open water
b
of large bodies of water : away from the coastal regions : pelagic
fish of the open ocean
In open seas, the smaller the ship, the more motion you can expect. Matt Hannafin et al.
8
: having the parts or surfaces laid out in an expanded position : spread out : unfolded
an open book
9
a(1)
: low sense 15
an open vowel
(2)
: formed with the tongue in a lower position
Italian has an open and a close e
b(1)
: having clarity and resonance unimpaired by undue tension or constriction of the throat
an open vocal tone
(2)
of a tone : produced by an open string or on a wind instrument by the lip without the use of slides, valves, or keys
10
a
: available to follow or make use of
the only course open to us
b
: not taken up with duties or engagements
keep an hour open on Friday
c
: not finally decided : subject to further consideration
the salary is open
an open question
d
: available for a qualified applicant : vacant
the job is still open
e
: remaining available for use or filling until canceled
an open order for more items
f
: available for future purchase
these items are in open stock
g
: available for breeding : not now pregnant
an open heifer
h
computers : not proprietary : available to third party developers
But while IBM pushes Notes, a proprietary technology created in the 1980s, a raft of new and much smaller rivals is plying the "open" technology of the 1990s: software on the World Wide Web, the fastest growing part of the Internet. Bart Ziegler
compare open-source
11
a
: characterized by ready accessibility and usually generous attitude: such as
(1)
: generous in giving
(2)
: willing to hear and consider or to accept and deal with : responsive
open to an offer
open to suggestion
(3)
: free from reserve or pretense : frank
was open about his personal life
(4)
of a relationship : not restricted to one partner at a time by mutual agreement see also open marriage
b
: accessible to the influx of new factors (such as foreign goods)
an open market
12
a
: having openings, interruptions, or spaces
open mesh
: such as
(1)
: being porous (see porous sense 2a) and friable
open soil
(2)
: sparsely distributed : scattered
open population
(3)
of a compound : having components (see component entry 1 sense 1) separated by a space in writing or printing (such as opaque projector)
b
: not made up of a continuous closed circuit (see circuit entry 1 sense 2a) of channels
the insect circulatory system is open
13
a
of an organ pipe : not stopped at the top
b
of a string on a musical instrument : not stopped by the finger
14
: being in operation
an open microphone
especially : ready for business, patronage, or use
the store is open from 9 to 5
the new highway will be open next week
15
a(1)
: characterized by lack of effective regulation of various commercial enterprises (see enterprise sense 2)
an open town
(2)
: not repressed (see repress sense 1) by legal controls
open gambling
b
: free from checking or hampering restraints
an open economy
c
: relatively unguarded by opponents
passed to an open teammate
16
: having been opened by a first ante, bet, or bid
the bidding is open
17
of punctuation : characterized by sparing use especially of the comma when possible without causing misinterpretation
18
mathematics
a
: containing none of its endpoints
an open interval
b
: being a set or composed of sets each point of which has a neighborhood all of whose points are contained in the set
the interior of a sphere is an open set
19
a
: being an incomplete electrical circuit
b
: not allowing the flow of electricity
an open switch
20
of a universe : having insufficient mass (see mass entry 2 sense 1c) to halt expansion gravitationally
open adverb
openly adverb
openness noun

open

2 of 3

verb

opened ˈō-pənd How to pronounce open (audio)
ˈō-pᵊmd
; opening
ˈōp-niŋ,
ˈō-pə- How to pronounce open (audio)

transitive verb

1
a
: to move (something, such as a door) from a closed position
b
: to make available for entry or passage by turning back (something, such as a barrier) or removing (something, such as a cover or an obstruction)
2
a
: to make available for or active in a regular function
open a new store
b
: to make accessible for a particular purpose
opened new land for settlement
c
: to initiate access to (a computer file) prior to use
3
a
: to disclose or expose to view : reveal
b
: to make more discerning or responsive : enlighten
must open our minds to the problems
c
: to bring into view or come in sight of by changing position
4
a
: to make an opening in
opened the boil
b
: to loosen and make less compact
open the soil
5
: to spread out : unfold
opened the book
6
a
: to enter upon : begin
opened the meeting
b
: to commence action in a card game by making (a first bid), putting a first bet in (the pot), or playing (a card or suit) as first lead
7
: to restore or recall (something, such as an order) from a finally determined state to a state in which the parties are free to prosecute or oppose

intransitive verb

1
: to become open
the office opened early
2
a
: to spread out : expand
the wound opened under the strain
b
: to become disclosed
a beautiful vista opened before us
3
: to become enlightened or responsive
4
: to give access
the rooms open onto a hall
5
: speak out sense 2
finally he opened freely on the subject
6
a
: to begin a course or activity
b
: to make a bet, bid, or lead in commencing a round or hand of a card game
7
: to provide the opening performance of a show before the main event
openability
ˌōp-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē
ˌō-pə- How to pronounce open (audio)
noun
openable
ˈōp-nə-bəl
ˈō-pə- How to pronounce open (audio)
adjective

open

3 of 3

noun

1
2
: open and unobstructed space: such as
a
b
: open water
3
: an open contest, competition, or tournament
4
: a public or unconcealed state or position
Choose the Right Synonym for open

frank, candid, open, plain mean showing willingness to tell what one feels or thinks.

frank stresses lack of shyness or secretiveness or of evasiveness from considerations of tact or expedience.

frank discussions

candid suggests expression marked by sincerity and honesty especially in offering unwelcome criticism or opinion.

a candid appraisal

open implies frankness but suggests more indiscretion than frank and less earnestness than candid.

open in saying what they think

plain suggests outspokenness and freedom from affectation or subtlety in expression.

plain talk

liable, open, exposed, subject, prone, susceptible, sensitive mean being by nature or through circumstances likely to experience something adverse.

liable implies a possibility or probability of incurring something because of position, nature, or particular situation.

liable to get lost

open stresses a lack of barriers preventing incurrence.

a claim open to question

exposed suggests lack of protection or powers of resistance against something actually present or threatening.

exposed to infection

subject implies an openness for any reason to something that must be suffered or undergone.

all reports are subject to review

prone stresses natural tendency or propensity to incur something.

prone to delay

susceptible implies conditions existing in one's nature or individual constitution that make incurrence probable.

very susceptible to flattery

sensitive implies a readiness to respond to or be influenced by forces or stimuli.

unduly sensitive to criticism

Example Sentences

Adjective The door suddenly swung open. You left the blinds wide open. The meat was roasted over an open fire. I was so tired that I couldn't keep my eyes open. Don't chew with your mouth open. staring with her eyes wide open There's already an open jar of pickles in the refrigerator. They kept the road open throughout the winter. Verb This door is hard to open. Open the door!” shouted the police officer. Would you mind if I opened a window? The car door opened and a beautiful woman stepped out. The door opened and closed so quietly that I didn't notice he had come in the room. This drawer is stuck. It just won't open! She comes home, turns on the TV, and starts opening her mail. She opened her eyes and smiled at me. I opened my umbrella and stepped out into the rain. Open your mouth wide for me,” said the dentist. Noun a daguerreotype of a cowboy whose face is roughened from a hard life in the open See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
While Grotts notes that asking if someone is open to hugging could get awkward, especially in professional settings, there is an argument for making things direct. Jen Doll, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2022 Other opportunities for public gathering happen at the school gym, which is open to adults for basketball at night, or at bingo, which happens every night of the week except Sunday and Wednesday. Emily Witt, The New Yorker, 21 Nov. 2022 Dear Miss Manners: My family has always been open to talking about pretty much anything and everything. Jacobina Martin, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2022 These types of elite events are reserved for the VVIPs, the ones who spend seven figures on a single piece—and Abramo’s team makes sure the guest list is a mix of people who will be open to meeting others on a similar level. Jill Newman, Robb Report, 20 Nov. 2022 Commonwealth LNG, which is developing a new U.S. LNG plant in southern Louisiana, is open to 10-year contracts, but at a higher price compared with a 20-year deal, said Paul Varello, the company’s executive chairman. Jenny Strasburg, WSJ, 20 Nov. 2022 Some of the weddings were open to coverage by the news media, while others weren't at all. CBS News, 19 Nov. 2022 Admission to the event is free and open to the public. Alec Johnson, Journal Sentinel, 18 Nov. 2022 The event is free and open to the public at 4545 Brainard Rd. cleveland, 17 Nov. 2022
Verb
Generally, this means doors will open at 6 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 23 Nov. 2022 The Brewery opens at 4 p.m.; the satellite locations open at 11 a.m. Chelsey Lewis, Journal Sentinel, 22 Nov. 2022 The Wildcats open against Cal Baptist at 5 p.m. Friday and will face the host team on Saturday afternoon. The Arizona Republic, 21 Nov. 2022 Union Assembly on Woodward is on the ground floor of Little Caesars world headquarters and will open at 3 p.m. Sunday. Susan Selasky, Detroit Free Press, 19 Nov. 2022 The first location will open around January at 3425 Murphy Canyon Road in Serra Mesa. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Nov. 2022 The new queues for L.A., Santa Clara, Vegas and Seattle will open at 2:30 p.m. Pacific. Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2022 Topgolf, an entertainment complex where golfers play interactive target games while enjoying food and drinks, announced Monday the facility will open Friday at 301 Oxmoor Lane in Louisville. Rae Johnson, The Courier-Journal, 14 Nov. 2022 The rock band, which formed in the mid-1970s, will open its tour July 6, 2023 at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta. Rodney Ho, ajc, 14 Nov. 2022
Noun
Occasionally, that tension has burst into the open. WIRED, 16 Nov. 2022 Some of the frustration with the poor Republican showing Tuesday broke into the open after a call that Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel convened with the committee’s members Wednesday afternoon. Ashley Parker, Josh Dawsey And Michael Scherer, Anchorage Daily News, 13 Nov. 2022 Early in the second, Flames winger Andrew Mangiapane had half of the net open on a rebound from Mikael Backlund. Matt Porter, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Nov. 2022 The zestful energy of the cold open carried through the rest of the episode, which delighted in exploring the absurd. Amanda Wicks, The Atlantic, 2 Oct. 2022 The Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI) is pointing higher ahead of the open with components Merck and Caterpillar announcing positive earnings. Jj Kinahan, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 Buneta noted that the initial idea for Batiste’s portion of the open had to be revisited. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 7 Sep. 2021 But the stock took off like a rocket in premarket trading, rising as much as 87% ahead of the open before settling down to a 28% gain in the first minutes of the regular trading session. Jordan Valinsky, CNN, 11 Aug. 2021 This is maybe the only part of the cold open that actually works. Andy Hoglund, EW.com, 8 Nov. 2020 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'open.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Verb, and Noun

Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German offan open, Old English ūp up

First Known Use

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of open was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near open

Cite this Entry

“Open.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/open. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

open 1 of 3

adjective

ˈō-pən How to pronounce open (audio)
ˈōp-ᵊm
1
: allowing passage : not shut or blocked
an open door
open books
open pores
2
: not enclosed or covered
an open boat
an open fire
open wounds
3
a
: not secret : public
open dislike
b
: liable sense 2
open to challenge
4
a
: free to be used, entered, or taken part in by all
an open meeting
an open golf tournament
b
: easy to enter, get through, or see
open country
5
: not drawn together : spread out
an open flower
an open umbrella
6
a
: available for use : free
keep an hour open tomorrow
the only option open to us
b
: not decided or settled
an open question
c
: waiting to be filled
the job is still open
d
: available for purchase all or most of the time
these items are in open stock
7
: ready to consider appeals or ideas
an open mind
open to suggestion
8
: not allowing the flow of electricity : being an incomplete electrical circuit
an open switch
openly adverb
openness noun

open

2 of 3

verb

opened ˈō-pənd How to pronounce open (audio)
ˈōp-ᵊmd
; opening ˈōp-(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce open (audio)
1
a
: to change or move from a shut or closed condition
open a book
the door opened
b
: to clear by or as if by removing something in the way
open a road blocked with snow
the clouds opened
c
: to make an opening in
open a boil
2
a
: to make or become ready for use
open a new store
b
: to make available for a certain purpose
open land for settlement
opened Japan to foreign trade
the office opens at eight
c
: to access for use
open the computer file
3
: to have an opening
the rooms open onto a hall
4
: begin sense 1, start
opened fire
open talks

open

3 of 3

noun

1
: open space
especially : outdoors entry 2
go out in the open
2
: a contest or tournament that is open
3
: a state or position that is public or is not concealed

Medical Definition

open 1 of 2

adjective

1
a(1)
: having the skin cracked, cut, or broken so that underlying tissue is exposed
abrasions, lacerations, and other open wounds
see also open fracture
(2)
of a head injury : marked by fracture or penetration of the skull
b
: not involving or encouraging a covering (as by bandages or overgrowth of tissue) or enclosure
open treatment of burns
c
: being an operation or surgical procedure in which an incision is made such that the tissues and organs are fully exposed compare open-heart
2
: shedding the infectious agent to the exterior
open tuberculosis
compare closed sense 3
3
a
: unobstructed by congestion or occlusion
open sinuses
b
: not constipated
open bowels
4
: using a minimum of physical restrictions and custodial restraints on the freedom of movement of the patients or inmates
an open psychiatric ward

open

2 of 2

verb

opened; opening

transitive verb

1
a
: to make available for entry or passage by removing (as a cover) or clearing away (as an obstruction)
b
: to free (a body passage) of congestion or occlusion
an inhalator for opening congested nasal passages
open clogged arteries
2
: to make one or more openings in
opened the boil

intransitive verb

: to spread out
the wound opened

Legal Definition

open 1 of 2

adjective

1
: exposed to general view or knowledge : free from concealment
an open, notorious, continuous, and adverse use of the property
an open and obvious danger

Note: When a defect, hazard, or condition is open such that a reasonable person under the circumstances should have recognized the danger posed by it, a defendant is usually relieved of liability for failure to warn.

2
: not restricted to a particular group or category of participants
specifically : enterable by a registered voter regardless of political affiliation
an open primary
3
a
: being in effect or operation
an open mine
a bench warrant still open
b
: available for use
an open toll road
c
: not finally determined, decided, or settled : subject to further consideration
an open question
d
: remaining effective or available for use until canceled
an open insurance contract
4
: not repressed or regulated by legal controls
a state with open gambling

open

2 of 2

verb

opened; opening

transitive verb

1
: to begin the process of
open the succession
2
a
: to make the statement by which the trial of (a case) is begun and put before the court
b
: to be the first to speak in summing up or arguing (a case)
3
: to restore or recall (as an order, rule, or judgment) from a finally determined state to a state in which the parties are free to prosecute or oppose by further proceedings

intransitive verb

1
: to begin action : commence on some course or activity
the stock opened at par
2
: to begin the trial of a case
defendant…has the option of presenting an opening statement immediately after plaintiff opens J. H. Friedenthal et al.

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