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

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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

One camera near the scene of the stabbing is located outside Spice Finch, a restaurant inside the Warwick Rittenhouse Square hotel at 220 S. 17th St. The restaurant had its grand opening Thursday night., "Philadelphia developer stabbed to death near Rittenhouse Square," 13 July 2018 But thanks to a new musical collaboration the duo likely found a way to make tongues wag yet again on the opening night of its Twins Of Evil: The Second Coming Tour. Gary Graff, Billboard, "Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson Unite For Beatles Cover as 'Twins Of Evil 2' Tour Kicks Off In Detroit," 12 July 2018 Or will the opening-night starting lineup look like Dunn, LaVine, Holiday, Markkanen, and Lopez? K.c. Johnson,, "Bulls Q&A: Should Wendell Carter Jr. enter Hall of Fame this week or next? What's the starting lineup?," 12 July 2018 Widows, starring Oscar winner Viola Davis and from fellow Academy honoree Steve McQueen, has been unveiled as the opening-night film, lifting the curtain on the 62nd edition of the event in London's Leicester Square on Oct. 10. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Steve McQueen's 'Widows' to Open London Film Festival," 12 July 2018 But for the vast majority of Southern California tourists, the new $10 million expansion, which will have its grand opening this Saturday, is a marked improvement. Mark Yost, WSJ, "A Museum to Spark New Interest," 11 July 2018 The solo exhibition of Reyes’ creations, which will run through July 26, debuted this past Friday evening as the artist was joined by family members, friends and longtime supporters for an opening-night reception. David Laurell,, "On the Town: Artist combines landscapes with urban elements," 10 July 2018 The restaurant at 4315 Montrose (the former Café Azur) has stealthily announced its soft opening as today, July 6. Greg Morago, Houston Chronicle, "La Villa Saint-Tropez opens in Montrose," 6 July 2018 Last time On July 22, 2016, the Dave Matthews Band showcased ace musicianship for the opening-night crowd. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Dave Matthews Band at Ruoff: What you need to know," 5 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.

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First Known Use of opening

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

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Statistics for opening

Last Updated

7 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for opening

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

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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

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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).


the setting in which something occurs

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