open up

opened up; opening up; opens up

Definition of open up

transitive verb

1 : to make available or possible The discovery opens up the possibility of new cures.
2 : to make plain or visible : disclose
3 : to open by cutting into

intransitive verb

1 : to become available or possible The hostess will let us know when a table opens up.
2 : to spread out or come into view The road opens up ahead.
3 : to commence firing
4 : to become communicative tried to get the patient to open up

Examples of open up in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Leading 18-12 with a quarter of the game left, the Springboks opened up and showed the other side of their game. Washington Post, "South Africa beats England 32-12, wins 3rd World Cup title," 2 Nov. 2019 Leading 18-12 with a quarter of the game left, the Springboks opened up and showed the other side of their game. NBC News, "South Africa triumph in Rugby World Cup Final," 2 Nov. 2019 Bigger outfits happily open up their musty cellars and pressing sheds, offering tastings and tours. Rick Steves, USA TODAY, "France's Normandy coast: Witness to war, home to culinary world's four Cs," 31 Oct. 2019 Later selection was opened up to pilots from other units, and the task force became a full-fledged regiment. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Helicopters That Made the U.S. Army's ISIS Raid Possible," 28 Oct. 2019 The morning commute was more of a struggle than usual for commuters in the Steel City Monday, after a large sinkhole opened up in downtown Pittsburgh and swallowed part of a bus. Fox News, "Pittsburgh bus with passenger aboard swallowed by massive sinkhole," 28 Oct. 2019 The Vikings opened up a 34-10 lead and held on to defeat Lakota West, 41-35, to lock down their first playoff berth since 2007. James Weber,, "Week 9 high school football takeaways: Playoff madness in Ohio; brackets set in NKY," 27 Oct. 2019 Writing the book alongside my family opened up the conversation of cancer and helped us cope together with my diagnosis. Tamara Rodriguez,, "Tamara Rodriguez’ Survival Story," 22 Oct. 2019 And an Internet connection to the infotainment system opens up streaming media services alongside more traditional platforms like FM or satellite radio. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Should all connected cars have a physical network kill switch?," 18 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'open up.' 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 open up

1582, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about open up

Statistics for open up

Last Updated

13 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for open up

The first known use of open up was in 1582

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on open up

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with open up

Britannica English: Translation of open up for Arabic Speakers

Comments on open up

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


to engage in dissolute behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Pass the Little Ribbons: A Pasta Word Quiz

  • rotelle pasta
  • Match the pasta to its meaning in English: Rotelle
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!