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

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 That new tactic was apparent from the opening drive with Johnson handling more direct snaps than Thompson. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 26 Nov. 2021 Still, his 29-yard completion to Mooney on the opening drive was subtly spectacular, an on-the-move dime dropped right over the top of Westry and in front of safety Chuck Clark. Dan Wiederer,, 23 Nov. 2021 Jones got his first sack on Sunday on the elusive Russell Wilson during the Seahawks' opening drive. Dana Scott, The Arizona Republic, 23 Nov. 2021 Down 17-10, the Giants drove to the Buccaneers 25 on the opening drive of the third quarter before Jones, under pressure from Devin White, threw incomplete on fourth-and-1 after rushing to the line to beat the play clock. Rob Maaddi,, 23 Nov. 2021 On Friday last week against Penn State quarterback recruit Drew Allar and Medina, the Eagles gave up a touchdown on the game’s opening drive. Matt Goul, cleveland, 22 Nov. 2021 Male’s defense dominated all areas of the field and didn’t allow a first down until North Hardin’s opening drive to start the third quarter. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, 21 Nov. 2021 The Colts score on their opening drive for the fourth straight game. Scott Horner, The Indianapolis Star, 21 Nov. 2021 Maryland’s opening drive of the second quarter was the perfect summary of how the season has gone. Ryan Mcfadden,, 20 Nov. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near opening

open ice


opening bid

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Statistics for opening

Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Opening.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2021.

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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 : beginning
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on opening

Nglish: Translation of opening for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of opening for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about opening


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