\ˈō-pən, -pᵊm\
opener\ˈōp-nər, ˈō-pə- \; openest\ˈōp-nəst, ˈō-pə- \

Definition of open 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : having no enclosing or confining barrier : accessible on all or nearly all sides cattle grazing on an open range

2a(1) : being in a position or adjustment to permit passage : not shut or locked an open door

(2) : having a barrier (such as a door) so adjusted as to allow passage the house was open

b : having the lips parted stood there with his mouth wide open

c : not buttoned or zipped an open shirt

3a : completely free from concealment : exposed to general view or knowledge their hostilities eventually erupted with open war

b : exposed or vulnerable to attack or question : subject open to doubt

c : being an operation or surgical procedure in which an incision is made such that the tissues are fully exposed

4a : not covered with a top, roof, or lid an open car her eyes were open

b : having no protective covering open wiring

5a : having the skin cracked, cut, or broken so that underlying tissue is exposed abrasions, lacerations, and other open wounds — see also open fracture

b of a head injury : marked by fracture or penetration of the skull

6 : not restricted to a particular group or category of participants open to the public open housing : such as

a : enterable by both amateur (see amateur sense 1) and professional (see professional entry 1 sense 2a) contestants an open tournament

b : enterable by a registered voter regardless of political affiliation an open primary

7 : fit to be traveled over : presenting no obstacle to passage or view the open road open country

8 : having the parts or surfaces laid out in an expanded position : spread out : unfolded an open book

9a(1) : low sense 13 an open vowel

(2) : formed with the tongue in a lower position Italian has an open and a close e

b(1) : having clarity and resonance unimpaired by undue tension or constriction of the throat an open vocal tone

(2) of a tone : produced by an open string or on a wind instrument by the lip without the use of slides, valves, or keys

10a : available to follow or make use of the only course open to us

b : not taken up with duties or engagements keep an hour open on Friday

c : not finally decided : subject to further consideration the salary is open an open question

d : available for a qualified applicant : vacant the job is still open

e : remaining available for use or filling until canceled an open order for more items

f : available for future purchase these items are in open stock

g : available for breeding : not now pregnant an open heifer

h computers : not proprietary : available to third party developers But while IBM pushes Notes, a proprietary technology created in the 1980s, a raft of new and much smaller rivals is plying the "open" technology of the 1990s: software on the World Wide Web, the fastest growing part of the Internet.— Bart Ziegler — compare open-source

11a : characterized by ready accessibility and usually generous attitude: such as

(1) : generous in giving

(2) : willing to hear and consider or to accept and deal with : responsive open to an offer open to suggestion

(3) : free from reserve or pretense : frank was open about his personal life

(4) of a relationship : not restricted to one partner at a time by mutual agreement — see also open marriage

b : accessible to the influx of new factors (such as foreign goods) an open market

12a : having openings, interruptions, or spaces open mesh : such as

(1) : being porous (see porous sense 2a) and friable open soil

(2) : sparsely distributed : scattered open population

(3) of a compound : having components (see component entry 1 sense 1) separated by a space in writing or printing (such as opaque projector)

b : not made up of a continuous closed circuit (see circuit entry 1 sense 2a) of channels the insect circulatory system is open

13a of an organ pipe : not stopped at the top

b of a string on a musical instrument : not stopped by the finger

14 : being in operation an open microphone especially : ready for business, patronage, or use the store is open from 9 to 5 the new highway will be open next week

15a(1) : characterized by lack of effective regulation of various commercial enterprises (see enterprise sense 2) an open town

(2) : not repressed (see repress sense 1) by legal controls open gambling

b : free from checking or hampering restraints an open economy

c : relatively unguarded by opponents passed to an open teammate

16 : having been opened by a first ante, bet, or bid the bidding is open

17 of punctuation : characterized by sparing use especially of the comma when possible without causing misinterpretation

18a : containing none of its endpoints an open interval

b : being a set or composed of sets each point of which has a neighborhood all of whose points are contained in the set the interior of a sphere is an open set

19a : being an incomplete electrical circuit

b : not allowing the flow of electricity an open switch

20 of a universe : having insufficient mass (see mass entry 2 sense 1c) to halt expansion gravitationally


opened\ˈō-pənd, ˈō-pᵊmd \; opening\ˈōp-niŋ, ˈō-pə- \

Definition of open (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to move (something, such as a door) from a closed position

b : to make available for entry or passage by turning back (something, such as a barrier) or removing (something, such as a cover or an obstruction)

2a : to make available for or active in a regular function open a new store

b : to make accessible for a particular purpose opened new land for settlement

c : to initiate access to (a computer file) prior to use

3a : to disclose or expose to view : reveal

b : to make more discerning or responsive : enlighten must open our minds to the problems

c : to bring into view or come in sight of by changing position

4a : to make an opening in opened the boil

b : to loosen and make less compact open the soil

5 : to spread out : unfold opened the book

6a : to enter upon : begin opened the meeting

b : to commence action in a card game by making (a first bid), putting a first bet in (the pot), or playing (a card or suit) as first lead

7 : to restore or recall (something, such as an order) from a finally determined state to a state in which the parties are free to prosecute or oppose

intransitive verb

1 : to become open the office opened early

2a : to spread out : expand the wound opened under the strain

b : to become disclosed a beautiful vista opened before us

3 : to become enlightened or responsive

4 : to give access the rooms open onto a hall

5 : speak out sense 2 finally he opened freely on the subject

6a : to begin a course or activity

b : to make a bet, bid, or lead in commencing a round or hand of a card game

7 : to provide the opening performance of a show before the main event



Definition of open (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : opening

2 : open and unobstructed space: such as

a : open air

b : open water

3 : an open contest, competition, or tournament

4 : a public or unconcealed state or position

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Other Words from open


open adverb
openly \ˈō-pən-lē \ adverb
openness \ˈō-pə(n)-nəs \ noun


openability \ˌōp-nə-ˈbi-lə-tē, ˌō-pə- \ noun
openable \ˈōp-nə-bəl, ˈō-pə- \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for open


frank, candid, open, plain mean showing willingness to tell what one feels or thinks. frank stresses lack of shyness or secretiveness or of evasiveness from considerations of tact or expedience. frank discussions candid suggests expression marked by sincerity and honesty especially in offering unwelcome criticism or opinion. a candid appraisal open implies frankness but suggests more indiscretion than frank and less earnestness than candid. open in saying what they think plain suggests outspokenness and freedom from affectation or subtlety in expression. plain talk

liable, open, exposed, subject, prone, susceptible, sensitive mean being by nature or through circumstances likely to experience something adverse. liable implies a possibility or probability of incurring something because of position, nature, or particular situation. liable to get lost open stresses a lack of barriers preventing incurrence. a claim open to question exposed suggests lack of protection or powers of resistance against something actually present or threatening. exposed to infection subject implies an openness for any reason to something that must be suffered or undergone. all reports are subject to review prone stresses natural tendency or propensity to incur something. prone to delay susceptible implies conditions existing in one's nature or individual constitution that make incurrence probable. very susceptible to flattery sensitive implies a readiness to respond to or be influenced by forces or stimuli. unduly sensitive to criticism

Examples of open in a Sentence


The door suddenly swung open. You left the blinds wide open. The meat was roasted over an open fire. I was so tired that I couldn't keep my eyes open. Don't chew with your mouth open. staring with her eyes wide open There's already an open jar of pickles in the refrigerator. They kept the road open throughout the winter.


This door is hard to open. Open the door!” shouted the police officer. Would you mind if I opened a window? The car door opened and a beautiful woman stepped out. The door opened and closed so quietly that I didn't notice he had come in the room. This drawer is stuck. It just won't open! She comes home, turns on the TV, and starts opening her mail. She opened her eyes and smiled at me. I opened my umbrella and stepped out into the rain. Open your mouth wide for me,” said the dentist.


a daguerreotype of a cowboy whose face is roughened from a hard life in the open
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This is the nature of the game, especially if the window is open so early – it’s still early., "David Wagner Tells Huddersfield Fans to Expect More Summer Signings as Reinforcements Arrive," 13 July 2018 The memorial is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Ethan May, Indianapolis Star, "Why there's scaffolding around much of the Indiana War Memorial," 13 July 2018 The deputy administrator position has been open since Trump took office in January 2017. Alex Stuckey, Houston Chronicle, "Top U.S. Senate aide nominated by Trump as NASA's second in command," 13 July 2018 Once the restaurant is open, there will be other lite-fare food on the menu along with several varieties of beer on tap as well as non-alcoholic options. Jennie Key,, "Lots of options: West Siders have eat-out options and more are coming," 13 July 2018 Meijer Gardens is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday. Detroit Free Press, "Rare corpse flower blooms in Grand Rapids," 12 July 2018 The island is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, May through October. Chelsey Lewis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "8 spectacular Lake Michigan lighthouses to visit in Wisconsin," 12 July 2018 The Farm Stand is open every Thurs. through 9/27/18. Daniel Wilson, sacbee, "West Sacramento’s Barn to host fresh, local produce sales through September," 12 July 2018 Sammy’s Mexican Grill and Bar, 3091 Route 20, Elgin, will be open Sunday in time for the game and will offer a number of drink and meal deals. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Enjoy a little World Cup fever Fox Valley-style with soccer fans from around the globe," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That means there is not enough land to build a new school adjacent to the old one while the old one is still in use, like the Carver Center did when the new school opened in 2012. Libby Solomon,, "Firm presents 7 scenarios to address Balto. Co. high school overcrowding; all include new Towson High," 13 July 2018 The Tontons, also working on new music, opened the show. Joey Guerra, Houston Chronicle, "The Suffers celebrate new album with first of two sold-out Houston shows," 13 July 2018 Located at 1010 West Trade St., Centric Gateway opened in December and is about 43 percent leased, Dominion Realty Partners executives said. Ely Portillo, charlotteobserver, "A multimillion-dollar deal shows why Charlotte’s apartment boom is still going strong," 13 July 2018 The Tigers and Hurricanes are the only college football team opening their seasons on the Sunday of Labor Day Weekend. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "LSU lineman deadlifts 605 pounds in video that should scare opponents," 13 July 2018 Tung grew up in Carlisle, Massachusetts, moved to New York City in 2005, and opened her PR firm House Of in 2015. Monica Kim, Vogue, "SVNR’s Colorful Keepsake Earrings Turn Forgotten Objects Into Chic Mementos," 13 July 2018 Another of his ventures is 213 E. Chicago St., where a cupcake shop has opened. Mike Danahey, Elgin Courier-News, "Real estate manager has bought 14 buildings in Elgin in 4 years — he's 'taking a bet' on the city," 13 July 2018 The introduction of the Children’s Health Insurance Programme in the United States in the late 1990s increased the rate of parents opening their own businesses. The Economist, "The welfare state needs updating," 12 July 2018 But conservators worry that increases in humidity, which foster the growth of bacteria and fungi, will damage the wall paintings if the doors are opened frequently. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Take a VR Tour of an Egyptian Queen’s Elaborate Tomb," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The Spy Who Loved Me’ In one of the most iconic cold opens of the franchise, 007 takes out a handful of would-be assassins while swooshing down the Austrian Alps. WSJ, "A Nearly Nude Take on James-Bond Style," 6 July 2018 The change will take effect before the open of trading next Tuesday. Bloomberg,, "Dow Jones industrial average is dumping General Electric and adding Walgreens," 19 June 2018 The spate of resignations has left May open to a leadership challenge from within her party that could topple the government and force an early election. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Jeremy Hunt, Theresa May loyalist, named to replace Boris Johnson as UK foreign secretary," 9 July 2018 The unique pattern, long sleeves and flowing train gave the look a fierce, reptilian-like effect while the open back and perfect glove-like fit feminized the look by letting her show off her curves. Sara M Moniuszko, USA TODAY, "CMT Music Awards: Carrie Underwood and more of the night's best-dressed stars," 7 June 2018 Casteel is expected to re-open on July 31, the day before classes begin. Ben Brasch, ajc, "‘Substandard’ bridge in Cobb closed for months during $1.5M rebuild," 25 May 2018 But Philadelphia, the state’s most populous municipality, has yet to see a single dispensary open within the city limits. Sam Wood,, "Center City to get its first marijuana dispensary," 25 Apr. 2018 Bitter fights over trade within the Trump administration again broke into the open, driving wild swings in the stock market as the White House’s top trade adviser clashed with the Treasury secretary over restrictions on foreign investment. Bob Davis, WSJ, "Trade Rift Within Trump Administration Sends Stocks on Wild Ride," 25 June 2018 Auburn held its sixth practice of the spring on Thursday, with a 30-minute window open to the media. Tom Green,, "Auburn leading receiver Ryan Davis misses practice due to illness," 22 Mar. 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for open


Middle English, from Old English; akin to Old High German offan open, Old English ūp up


see open entry 1


see open entry 1

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Statistics for open

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for open

The first known use of open was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for open



Financial Definition of open

What It Is

In the stock markets, open refers to the beginning of the trading day or the price of a security at the beginning of the trading day.

How It Works

The New York Stock Exchange has the most famous opening bell. At 9:30 am Eastern time, it rings. At that time, the last trading price for each security on the exchange the day before (the closing price) becomes the opening price, or the open.

Why It Matters

The open is the start of a new day, though it is important to note that that doesn't necessarily mean trading hasn't been going on right before the open. After-hours markets remain open as do other exchanges in other countries and time zones, which provides opportunity for the price to change right up until the open in many cases.

Source: Investing Answers



English Language Learners Definition of open

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to move (a door, window, etc.) so that an opening is no longer covered

: to move and no longer cover an opening

: to cause (something) to no longer be covered, sealed, or blocked



English Language Learners Definition of open (Entry 2 of 2)

: a competition (such as a major golf tournament or tennis tournament) that allows both professionals and amateurs to participate

the open : an area or place without walls, barriers, etc. : an area or place that is not covered or enclosed

: a situation in which something (such as a feeling) is no longer hidden or kept secret


\ˈō-pən \

Kids Definition of open

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : not shut or blocked : not closed an open window open books

2 : not sealed, locked, or fastened an open zipper There's an open bottle of ketchup in the refrigerator.

3 : easy to enter, get through, or see open country

4 : ready to consider appeals or ideas an open mind

5 : not drawn together : spread out an open flower open umbrellas

6 : not enclosed or covered an open boat an open fire

7 : not secret : public They have an open dislike for one another.

8 : to be used, entered, or taken part in by all an open meeting It was an open race—any number of dogs could be entered.— John Reynolds Gardiner, Stone Fox

9 : not decided or settled an open question

Other Words from open

openly adverb
openness noun


opened; opening

Kids Definition of open (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : to change or move from a shut condition Sit down and open a book. The door opened. She opened her eyes.

2 : to clear by or as if by removing something in the way Workers were sent to open a road blocked with snow.

3 : to make or become ready for use They plan to open a store. The office opens at eight.

4 : to give access The rooms open onto a hall.

5 : begin sense 1, start Police have opened an investigation. They opened fire on the enemy.

Other Words from open

opener \ˈō-pə-nər, ˈōp-nər \ noun



Kids Definition of open (Entry 3 of 3)

: space that is not enclosed or covered : outdoors Some slept in a cabin while others slept in the open.

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\ˈō-pən \

Medical Definition of open 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : not covered, enclosed, or scabbed over an open lesion an open running ulcer

b : not involving or encouraging a covering (as by bandages or overgrowth of tissue) or enclosure open treatment of burns

c : relating to or being a compound fracture

d : being an operation or surgical procedure in which an incision is made such that the tissues and organs are fully exposed — compare open-heart

2 : shedding the infective agent to the exterior open tuberculosis — compare closed sense 3

3a : unobstructed by congestion or occlusion open sinuses

b : not constipated open bowels

4 : using a minimum of physical restrictions and custodial restraints on the freedom of movement of the patients or inmates an open psychiatric ward


opened; opening

Medical Definition of open (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make available for entry or passage by removing (as a cover) or clearing away (as an obstruction)

b : to free (a body passage) of congestion or occlusion an inhalator for opening congested nasal passages open clogged arteries

2 : to make one or more openings in opened the boil

intransitive verb

: to spread out the wound opened



Legal Definition of open 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : exposed to general view or knowledge : free from concealment an open, notorious, continuous, and adverse use of the property an open and obvious danger

Note: When a defect, hazard, or condition is open such that a reasonable person under the circumstances should have recognized the danger posed by it, a defendant is usually relieved of liability for failure to warn.

2 : not restricted to a particular group or category of participants specifically : enterable by a registered voter regardless of political affiliation an open primary

3a : being in effect or operation an open mine a bench warrant still open

b : available for use an open toll road

c : not finally determined, decided, or settled : subject to further consideration an open question

d : remaining effective or available for use until canceled an open insurance contract

4 : not repressed or regulated by legal controls a state with open gambling


opened; opening

Legal Definition of open (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to begin the process of open the succession

2a : to make the statement by which the trial of (a case) is begun and put before the court

b : to be the first to speak in summing up or arguing (a case)

3 : to restore or recall (as an order, rule, or judgment) from a finally determined state to a state in which the parties are free to prosecute or oppose by further proceedings

intransitive verb

1 : to begin action : commence on some course or activity the stock opened at par

2 : to begin the trial of a case defendant…has the option of presenting an opening statement immediately after plaintiff opens— J. H. Friedenthal et al.

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More from Merriam-Webster on open

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for open

Spanish Central: Translation of open

Nglish: Translation of open for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of open for Arabic Speakers

Comments on open

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


one that holds something together

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