open up

opened up; opening up; opens up

Definition of open up

transitive verb

1 : to make available or possible The discovery opens up the possibility of new cures.
2 : to make plain or visible : disclose
3 : to open by cutting into

intransitive verb

1 : to become available or possible The hostess will let us know when a table opens up.
2 : to spread out or come into view The road opens up ahead.
3 : to commence firing
4 : to become communicative tried to get the patient to open up

Examples of open up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The musician opened up about her latest plastic surgery procedure during a performance on Sunday at Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Cardi B Opens Up to Fans About Liposuction During a Recent Performance," 7 May 2019 And only heightened by the fact that STD rates are at an all-time high, there's no doubt that opening up the biological treatment to a wider range of women is a major stride for a health concern that's approaching epidemic proportions. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The HPV Vaccine is Now Available to Women Over 27—Here’s Why It’s Great News for You," 8 Oct. 2018 Here's all the times she's opened up about her own mental health. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "8 Times Ariana Grande Has Opened Up About Her Mental Health," 19 Apr. 2019 Bebe also isn't the only celebrity to open up about their mental health in recent years. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Bebe Rexha Said She Has Bipolar Disorder," 15 Apr. 2019 In the meantime, reducing ear pressure comes down to relieving congestion and swelling in areas like the nose and throat to open up those Eustachian tubes. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Here’s How to Get Relief From Ear Pressure When You’re Sick," 9 Apr. 2019 The Chinese leader’s six-day trip to Europe, which ended Tuesday, has exposed differences within and between EU countries about how much to open up to China’s ambitious global investment... Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "Europe Embraces China’s Xi—Warily," 26 Mar. 2019 Similarly, dinner at Provisions, a working sculpture studio in Woodstock that artist Otto du Plessis and his wife, chef Maia du Plessis, open up for only a handful of private events, felt like an intimate dinner party among good friends. Pilar Guzmán, Condé Nast Traveler, "South Africa’s Other Big Five," 20 Dec. 2018 This decision opened up more play opportunities for kids and the potential to make a heck of a lot more money. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend," 9 Apr. 2019

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

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First Known Use of open up

1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Last Updated

15 May 2019

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Time Traveler for open up

The first known use of open up was in 1582

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with open up

Britannica English: Translation of open up for Arabic Speakers

Comments on open up

What made you want to look up open up? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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