• WordNet 3.6
    • adj opening first or beginning "the memorable opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth","the play's opening scene"
    • n opening the first of a series of actions
    • n opening the act of opening something "the ray of light revealed his cautious opening of the door"
    • n opening becoming open or being made open "the opening of his arms was the sign I was waiting for"
    • n opening a recognized sequence of moves at the beginning of a game of chess "he memorized all the important chess openings"
    • n opening an entrance equipped with a hatch; especially a passageway between decks of a ship
    • n opening a vacant or unobstructed space that is man-made "they left a small opening for the cat at the bottom of the door"
    • n opening an aperture or hole that opens into a bodily cavity "the orifice into the aorta from the lower left chamber of the heart"
    • n opening a possible alternative "bankruptcy is always a possibility"
    • n opening the initial part of the introduction "the opening established the basic theme"
    • n opening the first performance (as of a theatrical production) "the opening received good critical reviews"
    • n opening a ceremony accompanying the start of some enterprise
    • n opening an open or empty space in or between things "there was a small opening between the trees","the explosion made a gap in the wall"
    • n opening opportunity especially for employment or promotion "there is an opening in the sales department"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Opening for Drawer Cut Out of Front Rail of Table Opening for Drawer Cut Out of Front Rail of Table
Have to Remain There Until Spring Opened 183 Have to Remain There Until Spring Opened 183
N nodded at it. O opened it. P peeped at it N nodded at it. O opened it. P peeped at it
man opening yard gate onto wolfhound man opening yard gate onto wolfhound
The wolf pulled the bobbin and opened the door The wolf pulled the bobbin and opened the door
Just then the door opened Just then the door opened
The gates opened from within The gates opened from within

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 1905, the first pizzeria in the U.S. opened in New York City
    • Opening A place which is open; a breach; an aperture; a gap; cleft, or hole. "We saw him at the opening of his tent."
    • Opening A thinly wooded space, without undergrowth, in the midst of a forest; a clearing; as, oak openings .
    • Opening A vacant place; a job which does not have a current occupant; as, they are now interviewing candidates for the two openings in the department.
    • Opening An opportunity; as, an opening for business.
    • Opening The act or process of opening; a beginning; commencement; first appearance; as, the opening of a speech. "The opening of your glory was like that of light."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Disneyland opened in 1955.
    • n opening The act of making open, in any sense of the verb open.
    • n opening A beginning; an initial stage; commencement: as, the opening of a poem; also, dawn; first appearance.
    • n opening A breach or gap; a hole or perforation; an aperture; specifically, in architecture, an unfilled part in a wall left for the purpose of admitting light, air, etc.
    • n opening An open or clear space affording approach, entrance, or passage; an entrance.
    • n opening A clear, unobstructed, or unoccupied space or place; specifically, in the United States, a tract over which there is a deficiency of forest, trees being not entirely wanting, but thinly scattered over the surface as compared with their abundance in an adjacent region. The word is most frequently used with this meaning in Wisconsin and neighboring States on the west, and as the scattered trees are frequently oaks (Quercus nigra, jack-oak, and Q. obtusiloba, post-oak, are the most common species), such openings are often designated as oak-openings. Similar tracts in the more southern States, especially in Kentucky, arc called barrens and oak-barrens.
    • n opening A widening out of a crevice, in consequence of a softening or decomposition of the adjacent rock, which may still remain partly or wholly in its original position, or may have been entirely removed, so as to leave a vacant space of considerable width. In either case, the expanded crevice, or softened material in its vicinity, is called the opening. [Upper Mississippi lead region.]
    • n opening An unoccupied place, position, course of action, business, etc., which may be entered, or the opportunity of entering it; a vacancy; an opportunity; a chance.
    • n opening In law, the statement of the case made by counsel to the court or jury preliminary to adducing evidence: as, the opening for the plaintiff; the opening for the defendant. More specifically, the right to make such statement and adduce evidence before the adversary: as, if the defendant admits all the facts alleged, and only pleads new matter in defense, he has the opening.
    • n opening In chess-playing, a mode of commencing a game; specifically, one of the numerous series of consecutive moves made at starting which are frequently played and which have been thoroughly investigated by chess analysts. In addition to the openings which involve a sacrifice of force for the sake of position, known as gambits (for which see gambit), the following are to be noted: Fianchetto, 1 P — K 4, P — QKt 3; Four Knights' game, 1 P — K 4, P — K 4; 2 Kt — KB 3, Kt — QB 3: 3 Kt — B 3, Kt — B 3; French game, 1 P — K 4, P — K 3; Giuoco Piano, 1 P — K 4, P — K 4; 2 Kt — KB 3, Kt — QB 3, 3 B — B 4, B — B 4; King's Bishop's opening, 1 P — K 4, P — K 4; 2 B — B 4; Knight's game of Ruy Lopez, 1 P — K 4, P — K 4; 2 Kt — KB 3, Kt — QB 3, 3 B — Kt 5; Petroff's defense, 1 P — K4, P — K 4; 2 Kt — KB 3, Kt — KB 3; Philidor's defense, 1 P — K 4, P — K 4; 2 Kt — KB 3, P — Q 3; Staunton's opening, 1 P — K 4, P — K 4; 2 Kt — KB 3, Kt — QB 3;3 P — B 3; Three Knights' game, 1 P — K 4, P — K 4; 2 Kt — KB 3, Kt — QB 3 (or Kt — KB 3); 3 Kt — B 3; Two Knights' defense, 1 P — K 4, P — K 4; 2 Kt — KB 3, Kt — QB 3; 3 B — B 4, Kt — B3; Vienna opening, 1 P — K 4, P — K 4; 2 Kt — QB 3.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: More people are afraid of open spaces (kenophobia) than of tight spaces (claustrophobia).
    • Opening an open place: a breach: an aperture: beginning: first appearance: opportunity
    • ***


  • Ralph Waldo Emerson
    “Be an opener of doors.”
  • Lyndon B. Johnson
    “We must open the doors of opportunity.”
  • Kirk Kirkpatrick
    Kirk Kirkpatrick
    “Take a lesson from the mosquito. She never waits for an opening -- she makes one.”
  • Don Quixote
    Don Quixote
    “Where one door closes, another opens.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “The door of opportunity is wide open if you are prepared.”
  • Joseph Campbell
    Joseph Campbell
    “If you follow your bliss, doors will open for you that wouldn't have opened for anyone else.”


Eye-opener - Something surprising, unexpected which reveals the truth about something or someone.
Keep your options open - If someone's keeping their options open, they aren't going to restrict themselves or rule out any possible course of action.
Open all hours - If a shop or suchlike is open all hours, it only closes, if at all, terribly late.
Open book - If a person is an open book, it is easy to know what they think or how they feel about things.
Open old sores - When a sore is almost healed, and if a person rips or tears it open, it is way of preventing the healing process and further aggravating the pain. This phrase, metaphorically suggests, to revive or reopen a quarrel or enmity which was almost forgotten.
Open old wounds - If you open old wounds, you revive a quarrel or problem that caused a lot of trouble in the past.
Open secret - An open secret is something that is supposed to be secret but is common knowledge.
Open-and-shut - A question or issue that is open-and-shut is easily proved or settled.
Opening a can of worms - If you open a can of worms, you do something that will cause a lot of problems and is, on balance, probably going to cause more trouble than it's worth.
Pushing at an open door - If you're pushing at an open door, you achieve what you want easily because many people agree with you or support you.


Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. openup, up; cf. Dut. openop, Ice. opinnupp, and Ger. offenauf.


In literature:

Julia's house was open to him in a manner it could not be open to me.
"The Doctor's Dilemma" by Hesba Stretton
A Reading Room and Branch Library was opened on Jan. 11, 1864.
"Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham" by Thomas T. Harman and Walter Showell
The door of the steward's room stood open, and she turned into it, fancying it was empty.
"Verner's Pride" by Mrs. Henry Wood
This portico and all these windows were now wide open, mutely proclaiming welcome to all comers.
"Ishmael" by Mrs. E. D. E. N. Southworth
His eyes were only half open and he did not care to open them more.
"The Texan Star" by Joseph A. Altsheler
She went down the dark corridor and called the porter, who roused himself, opened the door and hailed the house opposite.
"Marietta" by F. Marion Crawford
Then he moved over to the door, unlocked it, and flung it open.
"The Master Mystery" by Arthur B. Reeve and John W. Grey
It is necessary to choose an open spot for the plantation.
"The Culture of Vegetables and Flowers From Seeds and Roots, 16th Edition" by Sutton and Sons
The door at the rear of the platform was opened again and Deacon Abraham Mason, the Rev.
"Quincy Adams Sawyer and Mason's Corner Folks" by Charles Felton Pidgin
After a moment's hesitation I pushed open the wicket gate, and so found myself in a smaller intimate courtyard of most surprising character.
"The Killer" by Stewart Edward White

In poetry:

O such a golden heart it has,
Your eyes may never see,
To others it is always shut,
It opens but for me.
"Parables" by Richard Le Gallienne
My Princess! Thou recoilest not from all
Thou must endure, ere I can openly
Claim thee my wife!
"The Spagnoletto. Act IV" by Emma Lazarus
All about stood open porch,
Long-drawn cloister dim;
'Twas a wavering wandering church
Every side of him.
"The Sangreal" by George MacDonald
Open my window to the stars:
The stars are angels' eyes,
The happy angels set to watch
Where my Love lies.
"A Song Of Stars" by Ethel Clifford
I know not if a God be there
To heed my crying sore;
If in the great world anywhere
An ear keeps open door!
"The Disciple" by George MacDonald
Over the ruin
See I the promise;
Crisp waves the cornfield,
Peace-walled, the homestead
Waits open-doored.
"The Voyage To Vinland: Bioern's Beckoners" by James Russell Lowell

In news:

"Openness can never be open-ended.".
The United States Golf Association is bringing its 100th US Open to golf's greatest Open venue, Pebble Beach Golf Links .
The United States Golf Association is bringing its 100th US Open to golf's greatest Open venue, Pebble Beach Golf Links.
The 32-year-old Spaniard moved to the top of the rankings in 2003 after winning the French Open and reaching the US Open final, where he lost to Andy Roddick.
South Korea's So Yeon Ryu is joint-leader after the opening round of Women's British Open at Hoylake.
After months of preparation and rehearsals and tech, the show is finally open — off to the opening-night party.
Or things could split open, with many sellers competing on an open platform.
New Soccer Field Opens The new soccer field officially opened to teams on Saturday.
"When a female comedian comes up to me and says I opened the door for her, I want to tell her to go f*** herself, I'm still opening doors," Rivers says.
The San Juan Island Grange throws open its doors Friday in a combination 'Open House', April is Grange month, and Arbor Day celebration, beginning at 2:30 pm, at the Grange Hall in Friday Harbor.
The Hill and Delta Zones opened Oct 1 and the Southeast Zone opens Oct 15.
The state Division of Natural Resources says the 2012 archery seasons for deer and bear open Saturday, while the wild boar archery season is set to open Oct 13.
Open Arms opens up to the street.
Crafted Artisan Meadery in rural Portage County opened in June, but it will hold its grand opening from 11 am to 7 pm Oct 20.
Each day, we'll highlight one part of what makes the Open the Open.

In science:

Since E ◦ is an open set containing η , and F (V ) is an open set such that η ∈ F (V ) (due to (15) and continuity of F at 0), we obtain that G = E ◦ ∩ F (V ) is also a nonempty open set.
Invariant densities for dynamical systems with random switching
Definition 3.4. A function f : X → Y between G -topological spaces is cal led G -open if for every G -open set U ⊆ X , f (U ) is G -open in Y .
On generalized topological groups
Thus, by the local submersion theorem, Fn is an open map around 0; since moreover Fn is a homomorphism, Fn is an open map, and in particular Fn (G) is open.
Groups and rings definable in d-minimal structures
Thus, G0 is contained in H ; since G0 is open in G, H contains an open neighbourhood of e, and therefore it is open.
Groups and rings definable in d-minimal structures
Since cp(U ) is open if U is open, and indeed U is open, this condition is satisfied.
Bounding Betti Numbers of Sets Definable in O-Minimal Structures Over the Reals