Definition of open in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈəʊp(ə)n/


1Allowing access, passage, or a view through an empty space; not closed or blocked: he climbed through the open window she was put in a cubicle with the curtains left open the pass is kept open by snowploughs
More example sentences
  • The sun is up and it's warm enough to have the windows wide open, and you can watch the world waking up.
  • Elsewhere, a cheerful member of staff is sitting at a desk which completely blocks an open doorway.
  • As he proceeds to end it all, the young man hears a haunting Mozart melody emanating from an open window.
not shut, not closed, unlocked, unbolted, unlatched, off the latch, unfastened, unbarred, unsecured;
ajar, wide open, agape, gaping, yawning
1.1(Of a container) not fastened or sealed: the case burst open and its contents flew all over the place
More example sentences
  • An airport screener smelled alcohol and found an open container of alcohol on the pilot.
  • The cleaners picked up an open packet of Jelly Babies from the theatre.
  • Always reseal open bags to prevent the mix drying out and store it in a cool, dark environment.
1.2(Of a garment or its fastenings) not done up: his tie was knotted below the open collar of his shirt
More example sentences
  • He was wearing a pinstriped suit and an open shirt, and he had a ponytail.
  • We met on his enormous yacht, and he wore a captain's cap and an open shirt with epaulets.
  • His shirt is open showing his slightly muscular build.
unfastened, not done up, undone, unbuttoned, unzipped, loose;
unbuckled, untied, unlaced
1.3(Of the mouth or eyes) with lips or lids parted: his eyes were open but he could see nothing [as complement]: the boy’s mouth dropped open in shock
More example sentences
  • Her eyes were open but she was quaking now with a lost look on her face.
  • Her glazed eyes were still open, unblinking, staring fixedly at nothing in particular.
  • Asked why he was robbing the house, one man wordlessly pointed to his open mouth to indicate he was hungry.
1.4(Of the bowels) not constipated.
Example sentences
  • The bowels were open, but the stools consisted only of green and black slime.
  • The nursing record indicates that her bowels were open.
  • He has a good appetite, and his bowels are open.
2 [attributive] Exposed to the air or to view; not covered: an open fire burned in the grate he crossed the ocean in an open boat
More example sentences
  • Instead, the food is cooked over open fires, causing serious deforestation.
  • This rustic farmhouse offers beef or lamb, roasted on an open log fire.
  • At the moment, heating comes from open fires or stoves in each room.
2.1(Of land) not covered with buildings or trees: the plans allow increasing numbers of new houses in open countryside
More example sentences
  • There is a clause in the planning law against building development on open land.
  • In the heart of Lanarkshire, just nine miles from the centre of Glasgow, lies a vast expanse of open land.
  • The diversity of its landscape is unique, and includes woodland, open heathland and coastal land.
unenclosed, rolling, sweeping, extensive, wide, wide open, broad, unfenced, exposed, unsheltered;
spacious, airy, uncrowded, uncluttered;
undeveloped, unbuilt-up
2.2 [as complement] Damaged by a deep cut in the surface: he had his arm slashed open
More example sentences
  • They also contain rotting rubbish smells and stop the mess caused by cats ripping open bin liners.
  • Blood had splattered onto every wall; Williamson's throat had been slashed open.
  • Their stomachs are ripped out, their chests crushed, their throats ripped open.
2.3 (open to) Likely to suffer from or be affected by; vulnerable or subject to: the system is open to abuse
More example sentences
  • How can it be made easier to do business here, without leaving the system open to even more abuse?
  • As many people could not read or write, the system was open to abuse and corruption.
  • Senior electoral officers in the city admit the system could be open to abuse.
2.4(Of a goalmouth or other object of attack in a game) unprotected by defenders.
Example sentences
  • With an open goalmouth in front of him, he put the ball over the cross bar.
  • He sent the ball wide of the virtually open goal.
  • The keeper came racing out of his area, but Giggs took the ball round him to leave sight of an open goal.
2.5(Of a town or city) officially declared to be undefended, and so immune under international law from bombardment.
Example sentences
  • However the Soviet Union could not carry out show trials in Berlin, which was an open city.
  • Picasso's masterpiece articulates the horror and outrage felt by all civilized people at the wanton bombing of an open city.
  • On 13 June Paris was declared an open city, as the French government fled to Bordeaux.
3With the outer edges or sides drawn away from each other; unfolded or spread out: the trees had buds and a few open flowers
More example sentences
  • Veronica are open, airy flowers which are ideal for arrangements, bringing both shape and a sense of relaxed style.
  • It looks a bit like an open lotus flower, red and green with edible silver on the outside.
  • If there was not an open flower under that leaf, the flies rapidly walked down the stem and up another stem, instead of flying.
spread out, unfolded, unfurled, unrolled, straightened out;
extended, stretched out
3.1(Of a book or file) with the covers parted allowing it to be read: she was copying verses from an open Bible
More example sentences
  • Her biology book was open in her lap and she was staring at me with an annoyed expression on her face.
  • She sat at her desk with her open physics book but could not make sense of a word she was reading.
  • She laid the open atlas down on the table and began to dig through kitchen drawers.
3.2(Of a hand) not clenched into a fist.
Example sentences
  • She quickly moved her foot and replaced it with an open hand to help him to his feet.
  • The log books show that in those days impertinence was punished by one or two cuts with the cane - or a slap with an open hand.
  • Steven slammed his open hand down on the wall beside Darren's head, causing Darren to cringe.
3.3(Of a game or style of play) characterized by action which is spread out over the field: both sides played fast, open rugby to produce a high-scoring game
More example sentences
  • Coming into this game, Charlestown's open style of football was the talk of the county.
  • It's so much easier to score goals employing a more open style of play.
  • Improved playing surfaces this season have helped the Sharks, a side who like to play fast, open rugby.
4 [predicative] (Of a business, place of entertainment, etc.) admitting customers or visitors; available for business: the shop stays open until 9 p.m. parts of the castle are open to the public
More example sentences
  • Businesses are open again, subways are running, and classes are being taught at schools and colleges.
  • He said the office in Market Place was open all day on Saturday, so the couple could have called with any problems.
  • The activity centre was open for half-term fun on two days this week.
open for business, open to the public
4.1(Of a bank account) available for transactions: I withdrew all my money except the minimum required to keep the account open
More example sentences
  • Other card issuers ask you to provide this information online or by telephone after your account is open.
  • Many expats want to keep their UK bank accounts open while they are abroad.
  • The Co-op was able to check back to 1981, and found nothing to show the account was open then.
4.2(Of a telephone line) ready to take calls: our free advice line is open from 8.30 to 17.30
More example sentences
  • Callers key in a security code and confirm their details, and the line is open round-the-clock.
  • Lines are open from midnight tonight and will close on Thursday, September 2 at noon.
  • Lines are open from 7.30 am to midnight and calls are charged at national rate.
5Freely available or accessible; unrestricted: the service is open to all students
More example sentences
  • The vision is to make the centre an active hub, open full time to everyone who requires its resources.
  • The long term solution to ending tyranny around the world is free and open trade.
  • It may well be the case that free open competition is best for us all in the long term irrespective of creed or colour.
available, accessible, on hand, obtainable, on offer
5.1(Of an offer or opportunity) still available: the offer is open while stocks last we need to consider what options are left open
More example sentences
  • He came back to Sofia and bashfully inquired if the offer was still open.
  • In return for this I have the full support of the organisation in finding a new job, and I have an open offer of a job here if ever I want it.
  • Those who want to pamper themselves can head to the spa as the offer is open only till October 31.
5.2 (also Open) With no restrictions on those allowed to participate: open discussion meetings each horse had won two open races
More example sentences
  • Drew was delighted with, not only his first ever cross win, but his first ever open race win, too.
  • On the open racing scene, the club organised a number of successful races throughout the year.
  • She is so reliable and it is feasible to expect her to make her presence felt in open races such as the King George and Arc.
public, general, unrestricted, non-exclusive, accessible to everyone, non-restrictive
5.3 (also Open) (Of a victor) having won an open competition: an Open champion
More example sentences
  • She is a former world number three tennis player, French Open champion and Wimbledon semi-finalist.
  • The current Australian Open champion in his weight division was disappointed with his Bronze medal.
  • The 12-times World Champion and 2003 UK Open winner, finished second in the Order of Merit.
5.4(Of a ticket) not restricted as to day of travel: I have an open ticket, so I can travel any day I like
More example sentences
  • It was always just an open ticket, entitling you to travel certain routes.
  • The business saver ticket will remain a competitive option, which offered many advantages on a standard open ticket.
  • I had an open ticket to return to Thailand.
5.5British (Of a cheque) not crossed.
Example sentences
  • Moreover, the holder may decide to add a crossing to an open cheque, which is then treated as being crossed.
  • It is an open cheque because the Government has no idea what the cost of these new rights and privileges will be.
  • Some banks charged a certain amount of money when one cashed an open cheque with them.
5.6 Mathematics (Of a set) not containing any of its limit points.
Example sentences
  • Let the point set M be the sum of the open sets Mx, M2.
  • Any metric space is an open subset of itself.
  • When combining two open sets the resulting set is again open.
6Not concealing one’s thoughts or feelings; frank and communicative: she behaved in an open and cheerful manner I was quite open about my views
More example sentences
  • I found them to be open and frank about some of the challenges that still lie ahead and I think it this is important.
  • Throughout the interview John is frank and open - except when it comes to money.
  • He was frank, open and polite.
frank, candid, honest, forthright, direct, unreserved, blunt, plain-spoken, outspoken, free-spoken, downright, not afraid to call a spade a spade;
straightforward, genuine, natural, ingenuous, innocent, artless, transparent, guileless, simple;
communicative, forthcoming, uninhibited
informal upfront
archaic round
6.1Not concealed: his eyes showed open admiration as they swept over her
More example sentences
  • We can see his influence in the works of Van Gogh, Cezanne and Matisse, who was open in his admiration.
  • He watched in open admiration as she downed the whole lot in several large gulps.
  • Visiting divers will look at you with open admiration when you ask them which part of the wreck they would like to dive on.
overt, obvious, patent, manifest, palpable, conspicuous, plain, undisguised, unconcealed, unhidden, clear, noticeable, visible, apparent, evident;
blatant, flagrant, barefaced, brazen
6.2 [attributive] (Of conflict) fully developed and unconcealed: the dispute erupted into open war
More example sentences
  • Recent national events helped turn the simmering discord into open conflict.
  • Many people fear the longer the issue remains unresolved, the greater the possibility of open conflict.
  • The issue has led to an open conflict with the leader of the Socialist Party.
6.3Welcoming public discussion, criticism, and enquiry: the party’s commitment to open government
More example sentences
  • This was far from the freedom of speech and open democratic discussion I'd imagined.
  • Are there any thoughts on the need for a free and open media?
  • Free and open debate on the Senate floor ensures citizens have a say in their government.
7(Of a matter or decision) not finally settled; still admitting of debate: students' choice of degree can be kept open until the second year
More example sentences
  • I cannot say if it is necessarily an amendment, but the two matters were open.
  • Just how much of a geo-political improvement any alternatives would be is open for debate.
  • Quite how much you'll learn from it is open for debate, but it's an interesting way of preparing yourself for Easter.
unresolved, not yet settled, yet to be settled, undecided, unsettled, up in the air;
open to debate, open for discussion, arguable, debatable, moot
7.1(Of the mind) accessible to new ideas: I’m keeping an open mind about my future
More example sentences
  • Be patient with the people who matter most, and listen to their ideas with an open mind.
  • Wander the streets and markets alone, with an open mind, friendly face and polite gestures.
  • Those who have learnt to approach art with an open mind know that it's rewarding.
impartial, unbiased, unprejudiced, objective, disinterested, uncommitted, non-partisan, non-discriminatory, neutral, dispassionate, detached
7.2 (open to) Receptive to: the union was open to suggestions for improvements
More example sentences
  • No group has the total answer and we would certainly be open to any ideas, suggestions and views.
  • She was open to suggestion on how her album should sound.
  • Be open to suggestions and invitations from people you meet along the way.
receptive, amenable, willing/ready/disposed to listen, responsive
7.3 (open to) Admitting of; making possible: the message is open to different interpretations
More example sentences
  • It has been argued, for example, that the decision is open to two possible interpretations.
  • This is so because many of the laws of the game are open to different interpretations by the referee.
  • Furthermore, what befalls the body itself may be open to different interpretations.
8 Phonetics (Of a vowel) produced with a relatively wide opening of the mouth and the tongue kept low.
Example sentences
  • A closing diphthong ends closer than it begins, while an opening diphthong ends more open than it begins.
  • Then comes the balm of the refrain-couplet with the open vowel sounds in ‘Golden lads, and Gz'rles all.’
  • Cockneys have short and open vowels, whereas the Cornish have longer vowels and speak fairly slowly.
8.1(Of a syllable) ending in a vowel.
Example sentences
  • There is a preference among many world languages for open syllables.
  • In comparison, the long vowels, which can occur in open syllables, show a higher degree of phonological autonomy.
  • All Japanese syllables are open.
9 Music (Of a string) allowed to vibrate along its whole length.
Example sentences
  • You can learn how to use an open string to give a reference tone when playing the fiddle.
  • I am looking for good open string licks in the key of E.
  • Bad technique can cause some players difficulty in playing the bass notes unless it is on an open string.
9.1(Of a pipe) unstopped at each end.
Example sentences
  • Water ran in and out via open pipes and troughs.
  • There was an open pipe between the two adjoining properties.
  • If there is a drop outlet or an open gutter at the other end of the run, install an end cap there, too.
9.2(Of a note) sounded from an open string or pipe.
Example sentences
  • He provides a great deal of hard information about transposing brass instruments, such as hand horns crooked in different keys to give a maximum of open notes.
  • Alex felt her guitar continuously play the open notes.
  • When an open note is followed by a fretted note on the same string, it is damped when the fretted note is formed.
10(Of an electric circuit) having a break in the conducting path.
Example sentences
  • No or low output voltage means the transformer winding has open or shorted winding.
  • This is an example of an open circuit, a gap in the loop preventing charge carriers from moving, thus preventing current.
  • In an open circuit, the free charges would simply remain on the electrodes and a voltage could be measured.
11(Of a fabric) loosely knitted or woven.
Example sentences
  • It's usually done with a tack cloth which is an open weave fabric treated with a wax.
  • Look for a natural fabric with a loose, open weave such as burlap or some types of cotton and linen.
  • It is a poly cotton blend with an open knit.


[with object]
1Move (a door or window) so as to leave a space allowing access and vision: she opened the door and went in [no object, in imperative]: Open up!’ he said
More example sentences
  • Neighbours wrote that the smell gets so bad they cannot open their windows and doors.
  • By opening windows, doors, and vents on the lower floors you increase the ventilation in your house.
  • She ran out of the bathroom into her room, locked the door, and opened the window.
unfasten, unlatch, unlock, unbolt, unbar;
throw wide
1.1 [no object] (Of a door or window) be moved to leave a space allowing access: the door opened and a man came out
More example sentences
  • The door opened and I entered the dark corridor, closing the door behind me.
  • There was this figure peering out of the front left window as the door opened.
  • After a minute, the door opened, and a pretty face popped out of the door.
1.2Undo or remove the lid, cover, or fastening of (a container, package, letter, etc.) to get access to the contents: he opened a bottle inexpertly, spilling some of the wine can we open the presents now?
More example sentences
  • He opened the box and removed five hundred dollars in cash and a handful of fake passports.
  • He opens the envelope and removes a yellow card and a blue one.
  • Sitting down beside me he carefully opened the box and removed a small brown brick.
unwrap, undo, untie, unseal
uncork, broach, crack (open)
1.3Part the lips or lids of (one’s mouth or eye): she opened her mouth to argue
More example sentences
  • I remember wanting to scream, but I couldn't open my mouth, couldn't even open my eyes.
  • Her eyes flashed and she opened her mouth to say more, then snapped it shut, and looked away.
  • She opened her mouth, trying to speak, but no words came out.
1.4 [no object] (Of the mouth or eyes) have the lips or lids parted: her eyes slowly opened
More example sentences
  • When it touched his eyelids, he groaned in annoyance, his eyes slowly opening.
  • She could feel her eyes slowly opening, and all she saw was red for a moment.
  • In a moment, he was still again, his eyes opening slowly with tears trickling from them.
1.5 [no object] Come apart; lose or lack its protective covering: old wounds opened and I bled a little bit
More example sentences
  • Old wounds were opening again and I was finding it impossible to heal them.
  • Old wounds opened as he remembered the sting of refused sanctuaries and broken friendships.
  • A wound had opened that could not heal, at least, not one that she could do anything about.
1.6 [no object] (open on to/into) (Of a room, door, or window) give access to: the kitchen opened into a pleasant sitting room
More example sentences
  • This room features full-length windows and patio doors opening onto a private balcony.
  • Corner doors open onto the main meeting room.
  • The hotel room had French doors opening onto a little balcony that overlooked a regular street.
give access, give on to, lead, be connected, communicate with;
command a view of, face, overlook
1.7Cause evacuation of (the bowels).
Example sentences
  • It can cause sharp pain, especially when opening the bowels.
  • The pain may be mild or severe, and may be made either better or worse by opening the bowels, passing wind or eating.
  • These pains are typically sharp and knife-like due to the fissure opening up each time your bowels are opened.
2Unfold or be unfolded; spread out: [with object]: the eagle opened its wings and circled up into the air the tail looks like a fan when it is opened out fully [no object]: the flowers only open during bright weather
More example sentences
  • It looks like a flower that opens all of it's petals at once.
  • It grows to 150 cm and opens its clear white blooms at the same time as forsythia.
  • The bird opened its wings and began flapping furiously.
spread out, unfold, unfurl, unroll, straighten out;
extend, stretch out
2.1 [with object] Part the covers of (a book or file) to read it: she opened her book at the prologue
More example sentences
  • He shifts his specs down his nose, opens his book and reads in an exaggerated manner.
  • She opened the file and read through a bit of it.
  • Walking into a book shop, Carl opens a volume of Pride and Prejudice, to find it contains hundreds of pages of the first sentence, repeated over and over.
2.2 [no object] (open out) Become wider: the path opened out into a glade
More example sentences
  • Every now and then the path opens out to another viewing point accessible by road, and the crowds return.
  • Just when you think you've gone the wrong way, the sea becomes visible ahead and the path opens out on to a glorious pebbled beach.
  • Eventually, after a particularly tortuous twist, the path opened out.
2.3 [no object, with adverbial] (Of a prospect) extend into view: stop to marvel at the views that open out below
More example sentences
  • Gradually Rosedale opened to view and we dipped into North Dale which is hidden from the fray but spacious.
  • Then, at Goose How, the views open towards Kentmere and the Horseshoe of hills beyond.
  • Then, as the highway approaches Three Rivers, the view opens to encompass the snow-covered Sierra.
2.4 [with object] Nautical Achieve a clear view of (a place) by sailing past a headland or other obstruction: we shall open Torbay shortly
More example sentences
  • At length we opened the Bay of New York.
  • As soon as we opened the head-land to the westward of us, a sudden squall took the boat.
3Make or become formally ready for customers, visitors, or business: [with object]: she raised $731 by opening her home and selling coffee and tea [no object]: the shops didn’t open until 10
More example sentences
  • Staff at the William Hill betting shop in London's Earls Court wore pyjamas as they opened for business at 7am.
  • We found a restaurant and ate breakfast and then walked the mall until it opened.
  • The few city centre shopkeepers that had bothered to open waited forlornly for customers.
3.1 [with object] Ceremonially declare (a building, road, etc.) to be completed and ready for use: the Queen opened the power plant on 17 October 1956
More example sentences
  • On the same day in 1932 the New Shakespeare Memorial Theatre was opened by the Prince of Wales.
  • In 1884 the State Opera House was opened in Budapest with its own ballet company attached.
  • The eight storey library next to the National Museum was opened in 1967.
3.2 [with object] Make possible access to or passage through: the President announced that his government would open the border
More example sentences
  • We're going to have nothing but trouble if the border is opened.
  • So while borders are being opened to indiscriminate trade, small producers are being regulated out of existence.
  • The US Department of Agriculture said Wednesday the border could be opened in March.
4Formally establish or begin (a new business, movement, or enterprise): she began to teach and opened her own school we opened up a branch in Madrid
More example sentences
  • There are a number of things that a new business owner should plan for and think about before opening the business.
  • The two building firms behind the venture are also in talks with a restaurant operator as to opening a business on the ground floor of the building.
  • He was apprenticed to Robert Gillow of Lancaster, then opened a business in London about 1760.
4.1 [no object] (Of an enterprise, meeting, or event) begin or be formally established: two new restaurants open this week
More example sentences
  • Despite election fever, there is time for other things and two remarkable new enterprises have just opened in New York.
  • The new venture opens with a variety of menus.
  • The church-led project opened in August last year but closed in February when it failed to attract enough visitors.
start trading, open for business, be ready for customers/visitors, admit customers, begin business, set up shop, put up one's plate
North American informal hang out one's shingle
begin, start, initiate, set in motion, launch, get going, get under way, start/get/set the ball rolling, get off the ground;
informal kick off, get the show on the road
formal commence
4.2Take the action required to begin using: they have the £10 necessary to open a savings account click twice to open a file for the software selected
More example sentences
  • If you do not have a telephone betting account you will be required to open one in order to collect your prize.
  • Add any new address that you want to keep receiving to the new rule by opening Rules Wizard and clicking Modify.
  • Title bars have menus which are opened with right mouse clicks in the title area.
4.3 [no object] (Of a piece of writing or music) begin: the chapter opens with a discussion of Anglo-Irish relations
More example sentences
  • The piece opens with Sal attempting to buy a peach.
  • This story opens with him writing, but he is soon interrupted by a call to supply the book for an opera.
  • The piece opens with a yearning, lyrical duet.
4.4 [no object] (open up) (Of a process) start to develop: a new and dramatic phase was opening up
More example sentences
  • A struggle for the re-division of the world has opened up and this process dominates politics.
  • A great opportunity is opening up before the environmental movement.
  • A completely new political and social phase is opening up in Italy.
4.5(Of a counsel in a law court) make a preliminary statement in (a case) before calling witnesses: Bernard had opened the case [no object]: Comyn opened for the plaintiff
More example sentences
  • It cannot realistically be suggested that counsel's error in opening the case had any influence upon the course of the trial.
  • Mr McKendrick then opened the defence case and the panel heard evidence from the defendant himself and from his mother.
  • Certainly there are a number of States where it is the practice for the defence to open their case.
4.6 Cricket another term for open the batting below.
Example sentences
  • I would like to see a batting order of Sehwag and Gilchrist opening, with Ponting, Lara and Tendulkar making up the middle-order for the team.
  • Who should open for the Indian cricket team?
  • I remember him hooking Freddie Trueman for six when he opened for Australia.
4.7 Bridge Make (the first bid) in the auction: West opened 2NT [no object]: do not open with fewer than twelve points
More example sentences
  • I opened one heart, and the opponents messed up the ensuing auction and defence.
  • I don't want to tell you to open at the one level every time you have four points and your partner can't open.
  • We opened spades, and they bid clubs.
5Make available or more widely known: new technologies open up thousands of different opportunities
More example sentences
  • On the other hand, the war opened up new possibilities for using military channels as a means to organize resistance.
  • Edward enjoyed the solitude so much that he and Marie began opening up their land to other artists.
  • These questions have begun to open up new lines of enquiry and to revitalize old ones.
5.1 [no object] (open out/up) Become more communicative or confiding: he was very reserved and only opened out to her slowly
More example sentences
  • To feel safe and secure in your relationship, you'll have to open up and communicate how you feel.
  • At other times he appeared to be opening up to the public.
  • How do you get a victim of bullying to open up and admit it?
5.2Make (one’s mind) more receptive or sympathetic: open your mind to what is going on around you
More example sentences
  • I will concede that foreign travel isn't for everyone but I'm firm in my belief that travel really opens one's mind and helps nurture a respect for the international community.
  • So anyway, my point is that society, or at least part of it, seems to be opening their minds a little.
  • Your students' minds will be opened to how far art and design reach into our daily lives.
5.3 (open someone to/up to) Make someone vulnerable to: the process is going to open them to a legal threat
More example sentences
  • The House of Commons was opened to almost universal derision.
  • Companies are very concerned that this opens them up to whole new levels of liability that, prior to the Internet, they were not going to have to worry about.
  • It's opened him up to all these attacks which are awkward to answer.
6Break the conducting path of (an electric circuit): the switch opens the motor circuit
More example sentences
  • If a fuse is in the supply circuit, it will do its job and blow out, opening the circuit and stopping the current flow.
  • When this disc is turned it activates a metal tongue which alternately closes and opens the electric circuit.
  • A circuit breaker ‘trips’ its switch to open the circuit, and the circuit is reconnected by closing the switch manually.
6.1 [no object] (Of an electric circuit or device) suffer a break in its conducting path: the problem was caused when a switch opened at the substation
More example sentences
  • If the demand for electrical current exceeds the safety level, a fuse opens once and must be replaced to reconnect the circuit.
  • The motor circuit will open if an over-temperature condition develops.
  • The normally closed alarm circuit will open if a fault occurs in either of the input power supplies.


1 [mass noun] (the open) Outdoors or in the countryside: guests were sitting in the open on the terrace
More example sentences
  • Suddenly, I burst open into the open, squeaking to a halt just short of going over the edge.
  • As the gun aimed down at him he leapt from behind the computer and out into the open again.
  • It was hard to run, but somehow they all managed to get out of the house and into the open.
1.1 (in/into the open) Not subject to concealment; made public: we have never let our dislike for him come into the open
More example sentences
  • If Britain is to be part of that process, the matter has to be brought out into the open and openly debated.
  • Differences between right and left are likely to spill into the open after the election.
  • The effect of legal action is to drag the tobacco companies into the open, which is precisely where they don't want to be.
2 (Open) A championship or competition with no restrictions on who may compete: his victory in the 2003 Australian Open
More example sentences
  • She beat elder sister Venus in the championship matches at the French and US Opens and Wimbledon last year.
  • He has already held all four major titles at once, taking the 2000 US and British Opens and PGA Championship plus the 2001 Masters.
  • The American has won the last three Australian Opens he has competed in, missing out only in 2002 while recuperating from wrist surgery.
3An accidental break in the conducting path for an electric current.
Example sentences
  • An open in a wire prevents the propagation of a signal past the open.
  • If an open exists in a conductor, then the portions on either side of the open will appear bright on the x-ray.



be open with

Speak frankly to: I had always been completely open with my mother
More example sentences
  • If he considered our conclusion to be in contradiction with his own view, or the public's opinion, he should have been open with us and spoken with us.
  • At the end of the day, BAA have nothing to gain from hiding information from the public domain, which is why we have always been open with our data, in order for the information to be used in external reports and publications.
  • I have a lovely audience of a similar type all over the world and I've always been open with them.

an open book

A person or thing that is easy to understand or about which everything is known: her mind was an open book to him
More example sentences
  • A lot about my life has been an open book.
  • Why, my dear fellow, I've read you like an open book.
  • Only to close friends am I an open book.

in open court

In a court of law, before the judge and the public: judgement was delivered in open court
More example sentences
  • That Act does not specifically empower clerks or court administrators to attend in open court and remand or adjourn cases on the record as happened here.
  • The order, as formalised, does not reflect the reasons of the court, the order pronounced in open court by the judges making the order, or the intent of the judges.
  • I think there is no need to certify for counsel, as we have been in open court as the Court of Disputed Returns.


Pronunciation: /ˌəʊp(ə)nənˈʃʌt/
(Of a case or argument) admitting no doubt or dispute; straightforward: he thought it was an open-and-shut case until the prime suspect was murdered
More example sentences
  • Neither side in this argument has an open-and-shut case, and certainly agreeing with the president's case doesn't make you a fool.
  • These are straight open-and-shut cases which police should have little trouble prosecuting since both the complainant, in the name of the council, and witnesses in buyers of the plots, are available.
  • You would think that confronted with such an open-and-shut case of missed opportunities, Peacock would immediately comply with Parks's request.

open the batting

Cricket Play as one of the pair of batsmen who begin a side’s innings.
Example sentences
  • Has anyone ever opened the batting, kept wicket and captained in the same Test?
  • ‘I opened the batting, kept wicket and bowled,’ he says.
  • Rosalie Birch opens the batting at club and country but is prepared to go in at No. 6.

open the door to

see door.

open the (or a) way

Remove an obstacle or hindrance to allow progress: if we win then it will open the way for improved pay this opened the way to a career in government
More example sentences
  • Regulation will open the way for increasingly restrictive interventions by the state.
  • Our team uses hexagonal pixels to develop much better methods of curve detection than is possible with square pixels, and this has opened the way for much quicker and more accurate shape identification.
  • This study opens the way to future experiments.

open someone's eyes

see eye.

open fire

Begin to shoot: troops opened fire on crowds armed with staves and knives
More example sentences
  • Distracted by this new threat, the infantry began to open fire on the oncoming cars.
  • The two boxcars with machine turrets and the open artillery boxcar began to open fire.
  • Once he had cut the others free, Richard and I began opening fire on the others who were firing from the car.

with one's eyes open

see eye.
Example sentences
  • Some southerners still like to call what resulted the ‘War of Northern Aggression,’ but the truth is that the South started it knowingly and with open eyes.
  • So decisions are made with open eyes, with a clear consciousness of the benefits and the risks for Bulgaria.
  • We will face these threats with open eyes and we will defeat them.

with open arms

see arm1.

Phrasal verbs


open up

Begin shooting: the enemy artillery had opened up
More example sentences
  • When their entreaties were ignored, an infantry charge was ordered, the artillery opening up behind it.
  • At the same time, American artillery opened up on other, less sensitive rebel strong points.
  • Men who went over-the-top in trenches stood little chance when the enemy opened up with their machine guns.

open something up

1 informal Accelerate a motor vehicle: Sam took me back on the motorway to open her up
More example sentences
  • The ignition key was turned, the motor purred then, as the throttle was opened up, the motor roared and the bows lifted and we skimmed across the smooth gin clear water heading for Miller Creek.
  • After putting on life vests, Ronnie started the motor and we moved off slowly as the throttle was opened up.
  • I put the trim one notch above dead even, and opened the throttle up all the way.
2(Of a player or team) create an advantage for one’s side: he opened up a lead of 14-8
More example sentences
  • You have a lot more power plays and you get ahead and the other teams have to open it up.
  • He can score in bunches, and that opens things up for his teammates.
  • He has played a more balanced game this season, but the team needs him to be more aggressive on offense because he opens things up for his teammates.



Example sentences
  • Obviously the door for people without prejudice isn't openable because as the tour guide says ‘Everyone has prejudice’.
  • Building services are generally domestic in scale, with openable windows, heating (but no air conditioning), external sun louvres and internal roller blinds.
  • Automatic openable elements in the ridge allow convection; glass at this level has 50 per cent shading factor, but lower down, glass is normally transparent.


Old English open (adjective), openian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch open and German offen, from the root of the adverb up.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: open

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