Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of open
Meaning of open by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • ( RP ) enPR: ō'pən, IPA: /ˈəʊ.pən/, X-SAMPA: /"@Up@n/
    • ( US ) enPR: ō'pən, IPA: /ˈoʊ.pən/, X-SAMPA: /"oUp@n/
    • Rhymes: -əʊpən


    Old English open, from Proto-Germanic *upanaz ( compare Old High German offan ( “open” ) ), from Proto-Indo-European *upo "up from under, over". Cognate with German offen, Low German apen and Swedish öppen .


    open ( comparative more open, superlative most open )

    1. ( not comparable ) Which is not closed; accessible; unimpeded; as, an open gate .
      Turn left after the second open door .
      It was as if his body had gone to sleep standing up and with his eyes open .
      • 1908, Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Chapter 2
        The open road, the dusty highway.. .
    2. ( not comparable ) Actively conducting or prepared to conduct business .
      Banks are not open on bank holidays .
    3. ( comparable ) Receptive .
      I am open to new ideas .
    4. ( not comparable ) Public; as, an open letter, an open declaration .
      He published an open letter to the governor on a full page of the New York Times .
    5. ( not comparable ) Candid, ingenuous, not subtle in character:
      The man is an open book .
    6. ( mathematics, logic, of a formula ) Having a free variable .
    7. ( mathematics, topology, of a set ) Is part of a predefined collection of subsets of X, that defines a topological space on X .
    8. ( computing, not comparable, of a file, document, etc. ) In current use; mapped to part of memory .
      I couldn't save my changes because another user had the same file open .
    9. ( business ) Not fulfilled .
      I've got open orders for as many containers of red durum as you can get me .
    10. ( music, stringed instruments ) without any fingers pressing the string against the fingerboard
    • ( accessible ): closed, shut
    Derived terms


    open ( third-person singular simple present opens present participle opening, simple past and past participle opened )

    1. ( transitive ) To make something accessible or removing an obstacle to something being accessible .
      Turn the doorknob to open the door .
    2. ( transitive ) To bring up ( a topic ) .
      I don't want to open that subject .
    3. ( transitive ) To make accessible to customers or clients .
      I will open the shop an hour early tomorrow .
    4. ( transitive ) To start ( a campaign ) .
      Vermont will open elk hunting season next week .
    5. ( intransitive ) To become open .
      The door opened all by itself .
    6. ( intransitive ) To begin conducting business .
      The shop opens at 9:00 .
    7. ( intransitive, cricket ) To begin a side's innings as one of the first two batsmen .
    8. ( intransitive, poker ) To bet before any other player has in a particular betting round in a game of poker .
      After the first two players fold, Julie opens for $5 .
    9. ( transitive, intransitive, poker ) To reveal one's hand .
      Jeff opens his hand revealing a straight flush .
    10. ( computing, transitive, intransitive, of a file, document, etc. ) To load into memory for viewing or editing .
    Derived terms


    open ( plural: opens )

    1. A sports event in which anybody can contest; as, the Australian Open .
    2. ( electronics ) a wire that is broken midway .
      The electrician found the open in the circuit after a few minutes of testing .
    3. ( with the ) Open or unobstructed space; an exposed location .
      I can't believe you left the lawnmower out in the open when you knew it was going to rain this afternoon!
      Wary of hunters, the fleeing deer kept well out of the open, dodging instead from thicket to thicket .
    4. ( with the ) Public knowledge or scrutiny; full view .
      We have got to bring this company's corrupt business practices into the open .




    Proto-Germanic *upanaz. Originally a past participle of Proto-Germanic *ūpanan ( “to lift up, open” ). Akin to Old English ūp ( “up” ) .



    1. open

Explanation of open by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. make available

    2. This opens up new possibilities
    3. become available

    4. an opportunity opened up
    5. make the opening move

    6. Kasparov opened with a standard opening
    7. cause to open or to become open

    8. Mary opened the car door
    9. become open

    10. The door opened
    11. spread out or open from a closed or folded state

    12. open the map
    13. display the contents of a file or start an application as on a computer

    14. afford access to

    15. the door opens to the patio
    16. begin or set in action, of meetings, speeches, recitals, etc .

    17. He opened the meeting with a long speech
    18. start to operate or function or cause to start operating or functioning

    19. open a business
    20. have an opening or passage or outlet

    21. The bedrooms open into the hall
    1. ready for business

    2. the stores are open
    3. not having been filled

    4. the job is still open
    5. openly straightforward and direct without reserve or secretiveness

    6. an open and trusting nature
    7. without undue constriction as from e.g. tenseness or inhibition

    8. the clarity and resonance of an open tone
      her natural and open response
    9. affording free passage or view

    10. open waters
      the open countryside
    11. affording unobstructed entrance and exit

    12. an open door
      they left the door open
    13. affording free passage or access

    14. open drains
      the road is open to traffic
      open ranks
    15. used of mouth or eyes

    16. keep your eyes open
      his mouth slightly opened
    17. having no protecting cover or enclosure

    18. an open boat
      an open fire
      open sports cars
    19. of an interval that contains neither of its endpoints

    20. open and observable

    21. open ballots
    22. open to or in view of all

    23. an open protest
      an open letter to the editor
    24. with no protection or shield

    25. open to the weather
      an open wound
    26. ready or willing to receive favorably

    27. accessible to all

    28. open season
      an open economy
    29. not sealed or having been unsealed

    30. the letter was already open
      the opened package lay on the table
    31. not brought to a conclusion

    32. an open question
    33. ( of textures ) full of small openings or gaps

    34. an open texture
    35. possibly accepting or permitting

    36. open to interpretation
      an issue open to question
    37. not requiring union membership

    38. an open shop employs nonunion workers
    39. not defended or capable of being defended

    40. an open city
      open to attack
    1. information that has become public

    2. all the reports were out in the open

    Definition of open by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Open a. [AS. open; akin to D. open, OS. opan, G. offan, Icel. opinn, Sw. öppen, Dan. aaben, and perh. to E. up. Cf. Up, and Ope.]
      1. Free of access; not shut up; not closed; affording unobstructed ingress or egress; not impeding or preventing passage; not locked up or covered over; -- applied to passageways; as, “an open door, window, road, etc.”; also, to inclosed structures or objects; as, “open houses, boxes, baskets, bottles, etc.”; also, to means of communication or approach by water or land; as, “an open harbor or roadstead”.

      Through the gate,

      Wide open and unguarded, Satan passed. Milton

      Also, figuratively, used of the ways of communication of the mind, as by the senses; ready to hear, see, etc.; as, to keep one's eyes and ears open.

      His ears are open unto their cry. Ps. xxxiv. 15.

      2. Free to be used, enjoyed, visited, or the like; not private; public; unrestricted in use; as, “an open library, museum, court, or other assembly”; liable to the approach, trespass, or attack of any one; unprotected; exposed.

      If Demetrius . . . have a matter against any man, the law is open and there are deputies. Acts xix. 33.

      The service that I truly did his life,

      Hath left me open to all injuries. Shak.

      3. Free or cleared of obstruction to progress or to view; accessible; as, “an open tract; the open sea.”

      4. Not drawn together, closed, or contracted; extended; expanded; as, “an open hand; open arms; an open flower; an open prospect.”

      Each, with open arms, embraced her chosen knight. Dryden.

      5. Hence: Without reserve or false pretense; sincere; characterized by sincerity; unfeigned; frank; also, generous; liberal; bounteous; -- applied to personal appearance, or character, and to the expression of thought and feeling, etc.

      With aspect open, shall erect his head. Pope.

      The Moor is of a free and open nature. Shak.

      The French are always open, familiar, and talkative. Addison.

      Not concealed or secret; not hidden or disguised; exposed to view or to knowledge; revealed; apparent; as, “open schemes or plans; open shame or guilt; open source code”.

      His thefts are too open. Shak.

      That I may find him, and with secret gaze

      Or open admiration him behold. Milton.

      6. Not of a quality to prevent communication, as by closing water ways, blocking roads, etc.; hence, not frosty or inclement; mild; -- used of the weather or the climate; as, “an open season; an open winter.” Bacon.

      7. Not settled or adjusted; not decided or determined; not closed or withdrawn from consideration; as, “an open account; an open question; to keep an offer or opportunity open.”

      8. Free; disengaged; unappropriated; as, “to keep a day open for any purpose; to be open for an engagement.”

      9. ( Phon. ) Uttered with a relatively wide opening of the articulating organs; -- said of vowels; as, “the än fär is open as compared with the ā in sāy”. Uttered, as a consonant, with the oral passage simply narrowed without closure, as in uttering s.

      10. ( Mus. ) Not closed or stopped with the finger; -- said of the string of an instrument, as of a violin, when it is allowed to vibrate throughout its whole length. Produced by an open string; as, “an open tone”.

      The open air, the air out of doors. -- Open chain. ( Chem. ) See Closed chain, under Chain. -- Open circuit ( Elec. ), a conducting circuit which is incomplete, or interrupted at some point; -- opposed to an uninterrupted, or closed circuit. -- Open communion, communion in the Lord's supper not restricted to persons who have been baptized by immersion. Cf. Close communion, under Close, a. -- Open diapason ( Mus. ), a certain stop in an organ, in which the pipes or tubes are formed like the mouthpiece of a flageolet at the end where the wind enters, and are open at the other end. -- Open flank ( Fort. ), the part of the flank covered by the orillon. -- Open-front furnace ( Metal. ), a blast furnace having a forehearth. -- Open harmony ( Mus. ), harmony the tones of which are widely dispersed, or separated by wide intervals. -- Open hawse ( Naut. ), a hawse in which the cables are parallel or slightly divergent. Cf. Foul hawse, under Hawse. -- Open hearth ( Metal. ), the shallow hearth of a reverberatory furnace. --
      Open-hearth furnace, a reverberatory furnace; esp., a kind of reverberatory furnace in which the fuel is gas, used in manufacturing steel. -- Open-hearth process ( Steel Manuf. ), a process by which melted cast iron is converted into steel by the addition of wrought iron, or iron ore and manganese, and by exposure to heat in an open-hearth furnace; -- also called the Siemens-Martin process, from the inventors. -- Open-hearth steel, steel made by an open-hearth process; -- also called Siemens-Martin steel. -- Open newel. ( Arch. ) See Hollow newel, under Hollow. -- Open pipe ( Mus. ), a pipe open at the top. It has a pitch about an octave higher than a closed pipe of the same length. -- Open-timber roof ( Arch. ), a roof of which the constructional parts, together with the under side of the covering, or its lining, are treated ornamentally, and left to form the ceiling of an apartment below, as in a church, a public hall, and the like. -- Open vowel or Open consonant. See Open, Open a. [AS. open; akin to D.
      open, OS. opan, G. offan, Icel. opinn, Sw. öppen, Dan. aaben, and perh. to E. up. Cf. Up, and Ope.]
      1. Free of access; not shut up; not closed; affording unobstructed ingress or egress; not impeding or preventing passage; not locked up or covered over; -- applied to passageways; as, “an open door, wi”
    2. Open n. Open or unobstructed space; clear land, without trees or obstructions; open ocean; open water. “To sail into the open.” Jowett ( Thucyd. ).

      Then we got into the open. W. Black.

      In open, In th open, in full view; without concealment; openly. [Obs.] Beau. & Fl.

    3. Open v. t. [imp. & p. p. Opened ; p. pr. & vb. n. Opening.] [AS. openian. See Open,a.]
      1. To make or set open; to render free of access; to unclose; to unbar; to unlock; to remove any fastening or covering from; as, “to open a door; to open a box; to open a room; to open a letter.”

      And all the windows of my heart

      I open to the day. Whittier.

      2. To spread; to expand; as, “to open the hand”.

      3. To disclose; to reveal; to interpret; to explain.

      The king opened himself to some of his council, that he was sorry for the earl's death. Bacon.

      Unto thee have I opened my cause. Jer. xx. 12.

      While he opened to us the Scriptures. Luke xxiv. 32.

      4. To make known; to discover; also, to render available or accessible for settlements, trade, etc.

      The English did adventure far for to open the North parts of America. Abp. Abbot.

      5. To enter upon; to begin; as, “to open a discussion; to open fire upon an enemy; to open trade, or correspondence; to open an investigation; to open a case in court, or a meeting.”

      6. To loosen or make less compact; as, “to open matted cotton by separating the fibers”.

      To open one's mouth, to speak. -- To open up, to lay open; to discover; to disclose.

      Poetry that had opened up so many delightful views into the character and condition of our “bold peasantry, their country's pride.” Prof. Wilson.

    4. Open, v. i.
      1. To unclose; to form a hole, breach, or gap; to be unclosed; to be parted.

      The earth opened and swallowed up Dathan, and covered the company of Abiram. Ps. cvi. 17.

      2. To expand; to spread out; to be disclosed; as, “the harbor opened to our view”.

      3. To begin; to commence; as, “the stock opened at par; the battery opened upon the enemy.”

      4. ( Sporting ) To bark on scent or view of the game.