Definition of open verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈəʊpən//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈoʊpən//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they open
    BrE BrE//ˈəʊpən//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈoʊpən//
    he / she / it opens
    BrE BrE//ˈəʊpənz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈoʊpənz//
    past simple opened
    BrE BrE//ˈəʊpənd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈoʊpənd//
    past participle opened
    BrE BrE//ˈəʊpənd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈoʊpənd//
    -ing form opening
    BrE BrE//ˈəʊpənɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈoʊpənɪŋ//
    Using a computer
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  1. 1  [transitive] open something to move a door, window, lid, etc. so that it is no longer closed Mr Chen opened the car door for his wife. opposite close1
  2. 2  [intransitive] to move or be moved so that it is no longer closed The door opened and Alan walked in. The doors of the bus open automatically. opposite close1
  3. container/package
  4. 3  [transitive] open something to remove the lid, undo the fastening, etc. of a container, etc. in order to see or get what is inside Shall I open another bottle? He opened the letter and read it. She opened her bag and took out her passport.
  5. eyes
  6. 4  [transitive, intransitive] open (something) if you open your eyes or your eyes open, you move your eyelids upwards so that you can see opposite close1
  7. mouth
  8. 5  [transitive, intransitive] open (something) if you open your mouth or your mouth opens, you move your lips, for example in order to speak He hardly ever opens his mouth (= speaks).
  9. book
  10. 6  [transitive] open something to turn the cover or the pages of a book so that it is no longer closed Open your books at page 25. opposite close1
  11. spread out
  12. 7  [intransitive, transitive] to spread out or unfold; to spread something out or unfold it What if the parachute doesn't open? The flowers are starting to open. open something Open the map on the table. He opened his arms wide to embrace her.
  13. border/road
  14. 8  [transitive] open something to make it possible for people, cars, goods, etc. to pass through a place When did the country open its borders? The road will be opened again in a few hours after police have cleared it. opposite close1
  15. for customers/visitors
  16. 9  [intransitive, transitive] (of a shop/store, business, etc.) to start business for the day; to start business for the first time What time does the bank open? open something The company opened its doors for business a month ago. opposite close1
  17. 10  [intransitive] to be ready for people to go to The new hospital opens on July 1st. When does the play open? opposite close1
  18. start something
  19. 11  [transitive] to start an activity or event open something You need just one pound to open a bank account with us. Who is going to open the conference? The police have opened an investigation into the death. Troops opened fire on (= started shooting) the crowds. open something with something They will open the new season with a performance of ‘Carmen’. Express YourselfConversation openersWhat can you say when you have to speak to someone for the first time or when you have to open a meeting? Here are some possible ways of starting a conversation or getting the audience's attention before a talk or speech: Do you mind if I sit here? Hello, is this seat taken? May I join you? Can I get you a coffee? Lovely weather we’re having!/Can you believe this rain/​wind/​cold/​sunshine? Excuse me, could I ask you a question? Shall we make a start? I think it's almost three o'clock. (British English) Shall we get started? I'd like to introduce our speaker.(especially North American English) I think everyone's here, so I'd like to welcome you to this conference. Synonymsstartbegin start off kick off commence openThese words are all used to talk about things happening from the beginning, or people doing the first part of something.start to begin to happen or exist; to begin in a particular way or from a particular point:When does the class start?begin to start to happen or exist; to start in a particular way or from a particular point; to start speaking:When does the concert begin?start or begin?There is not much difference in meaning between these words. Start is more frequent in spoken English and in business contexts; begin is more frequent in written English and is often used when you are describing a series of events:The story begins on the island of Corfu. Start is not used to mean ‘begin speaking’:‘Ladies and gentlemen,’ he started.start off (rather informal) to start happening or doing something; to start by doing or being something:The discussion started off mildly enough.kick off (informal) to start an event or activity, especially in a particular way; (of an event, activity, etc.) to start, especially in a particular way:Tom will kick off with a few comments. The festival kicks off on Monday, September 13.commence (formal) to start happening:The meeting is scheduled to commence at noon.open to start an event or activity in a particular way; (of an event, a film/​movie or a book) to start, especially in a particular way:The story opens with a murder.Patterns to start/​begin/​start off/​kick off/​commence/​open with something to start/​begin/​start off/​kick off/​commence/​open by doing something to start/​begin/​start off/​commence as something a campaign/​season/​meeting starts/​begins/​starts off/​kicks off/​commences/​opens a film/​movie/​book starts/​begins/​starts off/​opens
  20. 12[intransitive] open (with something) (of a story, film/movie, etc.) to start in a particular way The story opens with a murder. How does the play open?
  21. with ceremony
  22. 13  [transitive] open something to perform a ceremony showing that a building can start being used The bridge was opened by the Queen.
  23. computing
  24. 14  [transitive, intransitive] open (something) to start a computer program or file so that you can use it on the screen Wordfindercopy, data, delete, file, folder, icon, menu, open, password, print See related entries: Using a computer
  25. Word OriginOld English open (adjective), openian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch open and German offen, from the root of the adverb up.Extra examples ‘Open up!’ He hammered on the door. Fred opened it gingerly and peered inside. Her parachute failed to open. I opened out the map and laid it on the table. She opened all the windows wide to let some fresh air in. The glass doors opened automatically for him. The museum is due to open next year. opening up new markets the newly opened gallery of Western decorative art the opportunity to open up new markets He opened with a version of Elvis’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love.’ I opened the story with Viola because I wanted the reader to ‘meet’ everybody through her eyes. The Annual General Meeting opens at 1pm on March 15th. The festival opens on Monday September 13. The flowers open in the morning and close again in the evening. What if the parachute doesn’t open?Idioms it began to rain heavily
    open doors for somebody
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    to provide opportunities for somebody to do something and be successful
    open your/somebody’s eyes (to something)
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    to realize or make somebody realize the truth about something Travelling really opens your eyes to other cultures.
    open your/somebody’s mind to something
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    to become or make somebody aware of new ideas or experiences He’s eager to open the minds of his audience to different kinds of music.
    open the way for somebody/something (to do something)
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    to make it possible for somebody to do something or for something to happen The agreement could open the way for the country to pay off its debts.
    pour out/open your heart to somebody
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    to tell somebody all your problems, feelings, etc.
    Phrasal Verbsopen into somethingopen outopen out (to somebody)open upopen up (to somebody)open somethingupopen somethingup
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: open