open·​work ˈō-pən-ˌwərk How to pronounce openwork (audio)
often attributive
: work constructed so as to show openings through its substance : work that is perforated or pierced
wrought-iron openwork
open-worked adjective

Examples of openwork in a Sentence

a potter who decorates her vases with openwork
Recent Examples on the Web The baseplate is visible via the openwork caseback, as is the movement and its 27 jewels. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 16 Nov. 2023 Through the chronograph’s openwork caseback, Melton can see its sum of 197 parts and 29 jewels in action. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 7 Nov. 2023 As if to combat the heat, designers built a sort of air-con functionality into their garments, opting for mesh, eyelet, lace, and other openwork techniques to offer ventilation. Laird Borrelli-Persson, Vogue, 10 Oct. 2023 At its center is a brilliant-cut diamond, encircled by an array of powder pink sapphires set against rose gold openwork that mimics the embroidery of tweed, as well as the shape of the camellia. Lindsay Talbot, New York Times, 22 Sep. 2023 The ultra-thin movement provides the rapper with a max 48-hour power reserve and can be viewed through the openwork caseback, which showcases its sum of 27 jewels and a 22k gold off-center mini-rotor. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 15 Sep. 2023 Articulated settings and deft openwork hint at the knobbly, nubbly texture of tweed while maintaining a sense of airy lightness; fringed necklaces, earrings, and bracelets are designed to feel like fabric against the skin. Sarah Royce-Greensill, Robb Report, 4 Aug. 2023 Which explains why the owners have happily taken up residence in a place where inky tropical hardwoods meet the glint of artfully distressed brass and the delicacy of lacy openwork screens. Carlos Mota, ELLE Decor, 7 July 2023 Crochet Tunic Sandro Crochet tunic dress $545 at Sandro The two-tone zig-zag design, v-neck style, and openwork stitching make this a standout summer style for the pool, boardwalk, and beyond. Sophie Dweck,, 18 May 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'openwork.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1583, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of openwork was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near openwork

Cite this Entry

“Openwork.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


open·​work ˈō-pən-ˌwərk How to pronounce openwork (audio)
: something made so as to show openings through the fabric or material
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