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

Not more than 200 yards from the soccer fields, the short forest opens up, and the scrubby ground is replaced by massive slabs of concrete. Nate Berg, Curbed, "Can engineering save Louisiana’s coastline?," 7 Nov. 2018 Meanwhile, in Kansas, Laura Kelly’s governor race victory over Republican Kris Kobach opens up a serious path towards moving Medicaid expansion forward. Sarah Kliff, Vox, "Medicaid’s stunning victory," 7 Nov. 2018 That movie opened up a lot of careers for Asian-Americans who haven’t been seen in America before, which increases the talent pool. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Steven Yeun on Burning, The Walking Dead, and changing roles for Asian-Americans," 4 Nov. 2018 Women were opening up their checkbooks and signing up to canvass for female candidates. Marie Claire, "What Barbara Boxer and Nicole Boxer Learned From Years on the Campaign Trail," 23 Oct. 2018 This opens up the possibility of life throughout various pockets on the Red Planet—though, make no mistake, this study doesn't prove there is life. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Mars May Have Enough Oxygen to Sustain Subsurface Life," 22 Oct. 2018 JCPenney: In the past, stores have opened up early in the afternoon on Thanksgiving. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "These Stores Will Be Open on Thanksgiving Day," 9 Oct. 2018 On the good side, the move from August to mid-May opens up for hosting duties an entire region of the country that’s simply too damn hot to host a golf tournament in late summer: the South. Daniel Rapaport,, "FORE Questions: Breaking Down the New PGA Tour Schedule," 12 July 2018 Still, other leaders in the region have welcomed the news, hoping the end of war may open up both countries and usher in a new age of regional cooperation. Abigail Abrams, Time, "Landmark Peace Declaration Ends ‘State of War’ Between Ethiopia and Eritrea," 12 July 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

13 Nov 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).


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!