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
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
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 opening of the crossing, planned by Iraq and Syria, had been postponed several times in recent weeks. Washington Post, "The Latest: Report: Strikes on Iran-backed fighters in Syria," 18 Sep. 2019 He's been out of action since playing for Argentina in Copa America, and Barcelona has wobbled through the start of the season in La Liga as a result, with a 2-1-1 record through the opening four matches. Avi Creditor,, "LIVE: Dortmund Hosts Barcelona in Champions League-Opening Headliner," 17 Sep. 2019 The Heat earlier in the day acquired Mulder's G League rights from Windy City, creating the opening to eventually assign him to their G League affiliate, the Sioux Falls Skyforce. Ira Winderman,, "Heat sign former Kentucky guard Mychal Mulder to camp deal," 17 Sep. 2019 The opening of the Encore has not had an obvious effect on MGM’s returns., "But the Encore has become a significant new draw in the Boston area, even if the gambling traffic is modest by the lofty standards Wynn set in pursuit of its license.," 17 Sep. 2019 The event marks the opening of the Pickwick’s Classic Film Series, Season 7. 1. Michael Phillips,, "Wednesday at the Pickwick Theatre: 10 things you don’t know about Keir Dullea, “2001: A Space Odyssey”," 16 Sep. 2019 JPMorgan Chase announced the opening of its first Minnesota retail branch at 606 Washington Ave. Pioneer Press, Twin Cities, "Business People: Northern Oil and Gas names new president," 15 Sep. 2019 Deer Park’s highlight were the opening 2:20 of the second half. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Fourth quarter unable to rescue Deer Park a third time in 65-34 loss to Katy," 15 Sep. 2019 Two former Auburn standouts who play for the Cleveland Browns have been fined by the NFL for infractions from the opening Sunday of the league’s 2019 season. Mark Inabinett |, al, "NFL fines Greg Robinson, Devaroe Lawrence," 14 Sep. 2019

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

5 Oct 2019

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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 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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