open·​ing | \ˈōp-niŋ, 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

a(1) : breach, aperture

(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

4a : occasion, chance

b : an opportunity for employment

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The search giant recently announced new office openings in a former airplane hangar in Playa Vista, Calif., outside of Los Angeles, as well as its first office in Detroit. Douglas Macmillan, WSJ, "Google CFO Expects to Double New York Staff Over the Next 10 Years," 13 Nov. 2018 Thankfully that’s now changing, as Hay is officially launching in the U.S., currently online and soon in-store, with a shop opening in Portland, Oregon later this month. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "This Cult-Favorite Danish Design Brand Is Finally Launching in the U.S.," 1 Nov. 2018 Once the screen is pushed down, the magnetic mechanism immediately kicks in and finishes the opening in a snap with just the right amount of force. Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica, "Xiaomi’s Mi Mix 3 is an all-screen magnetic slider phone with 10GB of RAM," 25 Oct. 2018 That’s a big deal: A revisit of Dune would probably be a blockbuster with a huge budget and some kind of primo summer opening, making it Timmy’s bonafide mainstream debut. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This Week in Timothée Chalamet, October 5 Edition," 5 Oct. 2018 Unless the on-ramp has a yield or stop sign, use the stretch to speed up and merge, looking for an opening in the flow of traffic. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "QUIZ: Could You Still Pass a Basic Driver’s Ed Test?," 30 July 2018 The only comparison anyone could find was the liberation of Paris in 1944 because of the sense of an opening onto brighter futures, and the ways in which people from all classes and backgrounds merged and melded in the streets. Laurent Dubois, The Atlantic, "France’s Ghosts Return for the World Cup," 14 July 2018 One of the Marriotts will be a full-service hotel, with the other opening under the chain’s AC Hotel brand aimed at millennials. David Lyons,, "Dania Pointe to offer 600 apartments starting at $1,600 a month, as well as bowling, movies," 13 July 2018 The 10-bed home, located at a confidential site to shield its residents, has no vacancies now, less than six months after opening, said Tracy Salem, manager of the county’s youth and family services division, which oversees the program. Stephen Hudak,, "Orange County's crisis shelter for human-trafficking victims is full — and that may be a good thing," 12 July 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of opening

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about opening

Statistics for opening

Last Updated

16 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for opening

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for opening



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, 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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on opening

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


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Add Diction

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!