Definition of opening in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈōp(ə)niNG/


1An aperture or gap, especially one allowing access: she peered through one of the smaller openings
More example sentences
  • During fetal development, this opening allows blood in the fetus to bypass the lungs.
  • The light source is projected over the sample surface onto the opening of aperture 2.
  • Metaphorically, the mass is supposed to have been eroded by time and weather, so revealing its strata, and allowing openings to be created for access and light.
Anatomy  foramen
doorway, gateway, portal, entrance, (means of) entry, entryway, way in, (means of) access;
way out, exit, egress
2A beginning; an initial part: Maya started tapping out the opening of her story
More example sentences
  • Good openings might include a story, a camper situation that they might have to deal with, a staff!
  • During the big pauses between each of the short, sobbing phrases at the opening of the Tristan prelude, you could have heard a pin drop.
  • Its slowburning choppy intro starts like the opening to a Jewish hymn, before the entire band bursts into a kaleidoscopic sound addiction.
introduction, prefatory remarks, opening statement
informal kickoff
formal proem
2.1The occasion of a play, exhibition, public building, etc. being declared open or ready for use, marked by a celebratory gathering or ceremony.
Example sentences
  • Children at the Morden school had double cause for celebration with the opening of a building extension on Wednesday.
  • They can't really celebrate the opening of the building without the architect.
  • Large crowds were gathered to celebrate the opening of a new sewage plant, another step along the road of reconstruction.
opening ceremony, official opening, launch, inauguration;
opening night, premiere, first showing, first night;
2.2 Chess A recognized sequence of moves at the beginning of a game.
Example sentences
  • The idea is that one can play this opening without having to memorize a great number of lines.
  • Because this opening is a mainstay in the repertoires of tens of thousands of amateurs.
  • If you are looking for an offbeat new opening, this book may be the answer to your dreams.
2.3An attorney’s preliminary statement of a case in a court of law.
Example sentences
  • There had been an opening made by senior counsel for the appellant which disclosed certain aspects of the defence case.
  • It was, however, mentioned in the opening of counsel for Wang.
  • Of course, so it had been, in the passage of the pleadings to which I took your Honours in my opening.
2.4An open piece of ground in a wooded area; a clearing: I reached an opening in the forest
More example sentences
  • Forest openings and clearings and agricultural areas are also good habitat for the Western Bluebird.
  • They prefer areas with scattered openings rather than large tracts of unbroken forest.
  • They generally breed in wet areas or other openings near the tree line.
3An opportunity to achieve something: they seem to have exploited fully the openings offered
More example sentences
  • Entrepreneurs with an eye for opportunities have seized on openings offered by the JFPM to create their own niche markets in the complex.
  • They haven't had many openings that are this opportune for them, and so they're naturally taking it, and you know, one can't blame them, that's politics.
  • You and Gabrielle can see opportunities and openings that we can't, and you're both fast enough to take them.
opportunity, chance, window (of opportunity), possibility
informal (lucky) break, shot
3.1An available job or position: an opening for a professional engineer in the public works department
More example sentences
  • There were no professional openings available to me in Scotland at the time.
  • Todd Brun has put together a list of faculty openings and postdoctoral positions available in quantum information processing.
  • The cost of a public school and university education was high for middle-class families, and there was increased competition for available openings in the professions.
vacancy, position, job, opportunity


Coming at the beginning of something; initial: she stole the show with her opening remark
More example sentences
  • They also contested the opening match of the inaugural Asian test championship at Calcutta.
  • In my opening remarks at the beginning of the hearing I drew attention to this.
  • He justified his inclusion on the British Lions tour of Australia in the summer, scoring a try in the opening test match in Adelaide which the Lions won.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: o·pen·ing

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.