: perfectly simple : obvious
: easily settled
an open-and-shut case of grand larceny

Examples of open-and-shut in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Such a journalistic scoop ought to be an open-and-shut case: publish, expose, let the authorities take action. Catherine Bray, Variety, 17 Feb. 2024 For their part, the authorities show an alarming lack of curiosity when presented with what seems like an open-and-shut case. Peter Debruge, Variety, 6 Jan. 2024 Even the original moment was not an open-and-shut case. Mark Hlavacik, The Conversation, 3 Oct. 2023 Even some of his sympathizers say that the documents case is open-and-shut. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 15 Sep. 2023 Having witnesses and establishing patterns of behavior can narrow the search for a murderer, but DNA could be the turning point between circumstantial evidence and an open-and-shut case. Popular Science, 2 Aug. 2023 The sitting chief executive does not, alas, enjoy the confidence of enough of the country for this to be an open-and-shut matter politically. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 1 Aug. 2023 Back in 1990, the downfall of European pop duo Milli Vanilli seemed like an open-and-shut case of disgrace. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 June 2023 But even if Carlson’s surprise departure followed the high-profile payment, the connection isn’t open-and-shut. Erik Wemple, Washington Post, 24 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'open-and-shut.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of open-and-shut was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near open-and-shut

Cite this Entry

“Open-and-shut.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/open-and-shut. Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: perfectly plain : obvious
: easily settled
an open-and-shut case

More from Merriam-Webster on open-and-shut

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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