open 1 of 3

as in to expand
to arrange the parts of (something) over a wider area when we got too close, the cardinal opened its wings and flew to a higher branch

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms



2 of 3


as in public
freely available for use or participation by all the lanes at the bowling alley will be open during the afternoon, but will be available only for league play in the evening

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms



3 of 3


as in wilderness
that part of the physical world that is removed from human habitation a daguerreotype of a cowboy whose face is roughened from a hard life in the open

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective open contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of open are exposed, liable, prone, sensitive, subject, and susceptible. While all these words mean "being by nature or through circumstances likely to experience something adverse," open stresses a lack of barriers preventing incurrence.

a claim open to question

When could exposed be used to replace open?

The words exposed and open can be used in similar contexts, but exposed suggests lack of protection or powers of resistance against something actually present or threatening.

exposed to infection

When can liable be used instead of open?

While in some cases nearly identical to open, liable implies a possibility or probability of incurring something because of position, nature, or particular situation.

liable to get lost

When would prone be a good substitute for open?

While the synonyms prone and open are close in meaning, prone stresses natural tendency or propensity to incur something.

prone to delay

When might sensitive be a better fit than open?

The words sensitive and open are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, sensitive implies a readiness to respond to or be influenced by forces or stimuli.

unduly sensitive to criticism

When is subject a more appropriate choice than open?

In some situations, the words subject and open are roughly equivalent. However, subject implies an openness for any reason to something that must be suffered or undergone.

all reports are subject to review

When is it sensible to use susceptible instead of open?

The meanings of susceptible and open largely overlap; however, susceptible implies conditions existing in one's nature or individual constitution that make incurrence probable.

very susceptible to flattery

Thesaurus Entries Near open

Cite this Entry

“Open.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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