open 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

There's a reaction by artists of color to the spaces that were opened up by activists putting themselves on the line. Vann R. Newkirk Ii, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Is a Dystopian Send-Up of Dystopias," 13 July 2018 Minnesota Wild forward Zucker earned plenty of cheers for his two-goal performance in Team Walser’s 5-3 win over RBC, while Velocity bested Tira by a 5-3 score behind a strong outing from Coyotes goalie prospect Miska to open up the 2018 season. Michael Blinn,, "NHLer-Laden Da Beauty League Returns for Third Season of Summer Hockey," 12 July 2018 Apart from the idyllic surroundings, the centerpiece of the home is the cathedral ceiling living room, which boasts a wall of windows that opens up to a deck overlooking the deep green landscape. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "18th-century mill house in lush Connecticut backwoods asks $995K," 11 July 2018 But Croatia found energy after the break when the game opened up, making England’s missed first-half opportunities seem all-the-more significant. Ronald Blum,, "Croatia reaches first World Cup final," 11 July 2018 Lane and his partner, Dennis Curry, convinced the TVA to lower the lake level, which opened up a passage to the chamber where Gant was trapped, but only by about 6 inches. Bo Emerson, ajc, "Cave rescuers in Southeast watch their Thai colleagues with admiration," 10 July 2018 Bookings for the Carr Mansion will open up July 9, according to a mansion representative, with nightly pricing depending on room choice and scheduling. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "Galveston's Carr Mansion having a grand opening party on Saturday afternoon," 6 July 2018 In last night’s two-episode finale, Holden and his crew work to counter Ashford’s plans, ultimately deescalating the situation, and convinces the station to open up gates to the rest of the galaxy. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Humanity inherits the galaxy in The Expanse’s season 3 finale," 29 June 2018 The equivalent course of action now would be to force today’s giants to open up their data vaults, thus lowering the barriers to market entry and giving newcomers a better chance to compete. The Economist, "The art of the possibleThere is no single solution to making the internet more decentralised," 28 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of open up

1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about open up

Statistics for open up

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for open up

The first known use of open up was in 1582

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on open up

See 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).


alleviating pain or harshness

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!