open·​ing | \ ˈōp-niŋ How to pronounce opening (audio) , ˈō-pə- \

Definition of opening

1a : an act or instance of making or becoming open
b : an act or instance of beginning : commencement especially : a formal and usually public event by which something new is put officially into operation
2 : something that is open: such as
(2) : an open width : span
b : an area without trees or with scattered usually mature trees that occurs as a break in a forest
c : two pages that face one another in a book
3 : something that constitutes a beginning: such as
a : a usually planned series of moves made at the beginning of a game of chess or checkers — compare endgame, middle game
b : a first performance
b : an opportunity for employment

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Examples of opening in a Sentence

the opening of a cave They squeezed through a narrow opening between the fence and an oak tree. The enemy's troops poured through an opening in our defenses. We went to the play's opening.
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Recent Examples on the Web The grand opening for the latest Buc-ee's expansion is set for Nov. 18. Sonia Ramirez, Chron, "You're welcome, Georgia, for your new Buc-ee's," 12 Nov. 2020 The grand opening will be held virtually at 2 p.m. tomorrow and will be livestreamed at Jamie Mcintyre, Washington Examiner, "Behind the firing of Defense Secretary Mark Esper, a soldier at odds with his commanding officer," 10 Nov. 2020 When owners Jason Shelby and Wade Parkins hosted the grand opening of Now or Never boutique, stories were shared in a frenzy on Instagram. Elizabeth Montgomery, The Arizona Republic, "'We saw a void': Why 2 popular boutiques are setting up shop on Phoenix's Roosevelt Row," 9 Nov. 2020 The grand opening of the exhibit on Oct. 31 was expected to bring in hundreds, with workshops, behind-the-camera talks with people close to Ross and a Bob Ross costume parade and contest. Charlotte Stefanski, USA TODAY, "Painter Bob Ross' former Indiana studio hosts Ross exhibit," 7 Nov. 2020 Updates on the grand opening will be announced on the shop’s Facebook page. Eddie Morales, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A new Cedarburg business will give local vendors a place to showcase their products," 6 Nov. 2020 International thin-crust pizzeria chain Piola will mark the grand opening of its new Hollywood location (4961 Sheridan St., #37A in the Sheridan Plaza) by giving away 1,000 12-inch brick-oven pies between Monday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 14. Phillip Valys,, "Pizza chain Piola giving away 1,000 free pizzas in Hollywood - and there’s no limit," 6 Nov. 2020 The facility will open on Nov. 19 at 4790 Crittenden Drive, with a grand opening set for that morning. Lucas Aulbach, The Courier-Journal, "Pap's Beef Jerky is opening a new production plant in Louisville," 4 Nov. 2020 Inver Grove Heights leaders and housing advocates celebrated the grand opening Wednesday of Cahill Place, the first permanent supportive housing development for families in Dakota County. Star Tribune, "Metro briefs: Richfield to open its first off-leash dog park," 31 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'opening.' 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 opening

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for opening

Time Traveler

The first known use of opening was in the 13th century

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Statistics for opening

Last Updated

15 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Opening.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for opening


How to pronounce opening (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of opening

: a hole or empty space that you can go through
: the first part of something
: the first time that something happens


open·​ing | \ ˈō-pə-niŋ How to pronounce opening (audio) , ˈōp-niŋ \

Kids Definition of opening

1 : a place that is not enclosed or covered : clearing
2 : an act of making or becoming ready for use Neighbors are anxious for the opening of a new store.
3 : beginning People who came late missed the opening of the speech.
4 : occasion entry 1 sense 3 He was waiting for an opening to tell the joke.
5 : a job opportunity There is an opening in the legal department.


open·​ing | \ ˈōp-(ə-)niŋ How to pronounce opening (audio) \

Medical Definition of opening

1 : an act or instance of making or becoming open
2 : something (as an anatomical aperture) that is open or opens

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