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

This 93-second video gave millions of people chills by faithfully re-creating key moments from the original film’s beloved opening number. Dan Hassler-forest,, "Commentary: ‘The Lion King’ is a fascistic story. No remake can change that," 10 July 2019 Projections show the new adaption of The Lion King, which features a number of A-list actors voicing the iconic characters in the film, will have a huge opening after Aladdin‘s success over Memorial Day weekend with $113 million. Joelle Goldstein,, "Twinning! Beyoncé Rocks Matching Sparkly Looks with Daughter Blue Ivy at The Lion King Premiere," 10 July 2019 Michigan State football’s tight end took an out-of-step leap attempting to high-point the ball, placed into a small opening between the Arizona State defense. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football needs TE Matt Dotson to reach potential, catch ball better," 9 July 2019 The opening weekend classes can be signed up for the same way as regular classes. Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A Wauwatosa couple who met in a fitness class is opening Lake Country Barre District in Pewaukee," 9 July 2019 Slack, which is currently trading below its first-day opening price, has been beset both by smaller companies hoping to improve upon it and tech giants trying to copy and replace it. Rani Molla, Vox, "Microsoft Teams isn’t better than Slack, but it is freer.," 9 July 2019 The games will observe their 10th anniversary next year, and will include an opening ceremony concert and other events that are free and open to the public. Scott Huddleston,, "Olympics-style Warrior Games coming to San Antonio," 9 July 2019 Forgotten fondness: Those singing flowers, which are nestled tightly in the ceiling during the infectious opening number by our feathered friends. Dewayne Bevil,, "Disney World: Revisiting the Tiki Room birds, Country Bears," 9 July 2019 Most of the proposals in the budget speech relate to regulatory changes, such as further opening up of the financial sector to deepen capital markets in the (false) expectation that this will somehow kickstart private investment on its own. Jayati Ghosh, Quartz India, "“Investment” was mentioned over 30 times in India’s budget speech—but where will it come from?," 8 July 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

13 Jul 2019

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 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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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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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