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

But this year, the opening days were disrupted by twin tragedies. Washington Post, "‘We have to deal with this’: Gun policy divide hangs over bipartisan gathering of state lawmakers," 7 Aug. 2019 John Delaney said during his opening statement, on Tuesday. Osita Nwanevu, The New Yorker, "How Bernie Sanders Changed the Health-Care Debate," 3 Aug. 2019 The following year, experts from NOAA and the University of Hawaii released remarkable images of a U.S. Navy seaplane sunk during the opening minutes of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Fox News, "Mystery shipwreck discovered, may be WW II freighter," 2 Aug. 2019 The protesters first interrupted Booker during his opening statement. Kynala Phillips, Essence, "Protesters Interrupt Democratic Debate Demanding Justice For Eric Garner," 1 Aug. 2019 Wonder why Cory Booker got interrupted during his opening statement during the CNN Presidential Debates? Anna Bauman, Detroit Free Press, "'Fire Pantaleo' chant interrupts Cory Booker opening remarks at presidential debate," 1 Aug. 2019 And Kiss, the former band of opening-night fair attraction Ace Frehley, wouldn’t have conquered the rock world in the 1970s without a contribution from Indiana. David Lindquist, Indianapolis Star, "Can you make the Hoosier connections in this 2019 Indiana State Fair concert quiz?," 30 July 2019 The opening-night audience was filled with Hollywood stars, Vegas entertainers and assorted high rollers, along with rock critics and entertainment reporters from around the country. Richard Zoglin, Time, "Inside the Las Vegas Show That Turned Elvis' Career Around," 23 July 2019 There's the opening-day catch March 28, which gets credit for the best dramatic timing (as the final out of the game to preserve victory in a high-profile contest). Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lorenzo Cain stole another home run. Which one has been your favorite thus far in 2019?," 18 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

10 Aug 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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