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

His annual trip is usually scheduled for the opening weekend of lobster season — around the end of September — and takes him and 30 other people more than 100 miles south, landing just north of the Mexican border. Los Angeles Times, "Deadly California boat fire devastates community of local divers," 3 Sep. 2019 Everton have never actually won a game on the opening weekend of a WSL season, having failed on six previous attempts (D2, L4)., "WSL Stats for 2019/20 Week 1: First Encounters, Fighting the Odds & More," 3 Sep. 2019 Last month, during opening statements in the trial, True told the jury that a few expenses Lundergan's company paid for early in the campaign were simply mistakes the Grimes campaign didn't discover until the federal investigation began. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "Defense lawyers try to paint consultant Hurst as the bad guy in Lundergan case," 3 Sep. 2019 Still, both made strong opening statements with Etienne rushing for 205 yards and three touchdowns on only 12 carries in a 52-14 victory over Georgia Tech and Swift going for 149 yards on 16 carries in Georgia’s 30-6 win at Vanderbilt. Joel Boyd,, "College football Week 1 wrap-up: Jalen Hurts tops our ranking of the transfer QB debuts. And is this the year running backs retake the Heisman race?," 1 Sep. 2019 After a baffling opening statement, Alabama snapped back to form and took care of Duke, 42-3 in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Michael Casagrande |, al, " instant analysis: Alabama trips early, overwhelms Duke later," 31 Aug. 2019 That’s bound to disappoint some Disney fans, who traveled to the state for the opening weekend of the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge attraction. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Dorian Is Now a Major Hurricane—And It’s Roaring Towards Florida," 30 Aug. 2019 In her opening statement, delivered in a Vista courtroom, Deputy District Attorney Patricia Lavermicocca said the defendant — who had been living in France for four years — abruptly showed up at his father’s home in May 2017. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Murder trial underway for man accused in father’s beating death in Rancho Santa Fe," 30 Aug. 2019 McMahon, who earned his first opening day start this year, has played in 95 games at second base (84 starts) while also moonlighting as an effective first and third baseman. Jeff Bailey, The Denver Post, "Rockies Insider: Five silver linings to Colorado’s lost, last-place season," 29 Aug. 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

7 Sep 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

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one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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