Meaning of “open” in the English Dictionary

"open" in English

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uk /ˈəʊ.pən/ us /ˈoʊ.pən/

open adjective (NOT CLOSED)

A2 not closed or fastened:

an open door/window
An open suitcase lay on her bed.
You left the container open.
Someone had left the window wide (= completely) open.
He had several nasty open wounds (= those which had not begun to heal).

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open adjective (READY)

A1 [ after verb ] ready to be used or ready to provide a service:

The supermarket is open till 8.00 p.m.
The road is open now, but it is often blocked by snow in the winter.
The new hospital was declared open by the mayor.

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open adjective (NOT ENCLOSED)

B1 not closed in or covered:

It's not a good idea to camp in the middle of an open field (= one which is not covered with trees, bushes, etc.).
Suddenly we had left the city behind and were out in open country.
The survivors were adrift on the open sea (= far from land).

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open adjective (AVAILABLE)

C1 [ after verb ] available; not limited:

There are still several possibilities open to you.
The competition is open to anyone over the age of 16.
Is the library open to the general public?
Their whole attitude to these negotiations is open to criticism (= can be criticized).
I'd like to think I'm open to (= willing to consider) any reasonable suggestion.
An accident would lay the whole issue of safety open (= cause it to be considered).

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open adjective (NOT SECRET)

C2 not secret:

There has been open hostility between them ever since they had that argument last summer.

C2 honest and not trying to keep things secret:

He's very open about his weaknesses.
I wish you'd be more open with me, and tell me what you're feeling.
She has an honest, open face.

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uk /ˈəʊ.pən/ us /ˈoʊ.pən/

open verb (BEGIN)

B2 [ I or T ] to (cause to) begin:

I would like to open my talk by giving a brief background to the subject.
I'm going to open an account with another bank.
The Olympic Games open tomorrow.
A new radio station is due to open (up) next month.
The film opens (= will be shown for the first time) in New York and Los Angeles next week.

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open verb (NOT CLOSED)

A1 [ I or T ] to move something to a position that is not closed, or to make something change to a position that is not closed:

Could you open the window, please?
You can open your eyes now - here's your present.
The flowers open (out) in the morning but close again in the afternoon.
From the kitchen there is a door that opens (out) into the garden.
That door opens (out) onto the patio.
informal "Open up (= open the door) - it's the police!" shouted the police officer, banging on the door.

A2 [ T ] to remove or separate part of a container or parcel so that you can see or use what it contains:

Don't open a new bottle just for me.
I couldn't wait to open the letter.

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open verb (READY)

A2 [ I or T ] If a shop or office opens at a particular time of day, it starts to do business at that time:

The coffee shop opens at ten o'clock.
He opens (up) his coffee shop at ten o'clock.

B2 [ T ] If someone, usually someone important, opens a building, event, etc., they officially say that it is ready to be used or to start operating:

The new hospital will be officially opened by the mayor on Tuesday.

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open verb (COMPUTER)

B1 [ T ] If you open a computer document or program, you make it ready to read or use:

To open a new document, click "File" and then click "New".
Click the desktop icon to open the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

opennoun [ S ]

uk /ˈəʊ.pən/ us /ˈoʊ.pən/

(Definition of “open” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"open" in American English

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openadjective, adverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈoʊ·pən/

open adjective, adverb [ not gradable ] (POSITIONED FOR ACCESS)

being in a position that allows things to pass through or that allows for immediate use; not closed or fastened:

The window was wide open.
The trunk of his car had been pried open.


us /ˈoʊ·pən/

open adjective (READY FOR USE)

[ not gradable ] ready to be used or to provide a service:

The supermarket is open till 9 p.m.

open adjective (NOT DECIDED)

not decided or certain:

I want to keep my options open until I have all the facts.
Whether we’ll go is still an open question.
You should keep an open mind about your new school (= not form any opinions) until you’ve been there.

open adjective (NOT SECRET)

not secret:

Open warfare had broken out in Yugoslavia.

A person who is open is honest and not trying to hide something:

He is quite open about his weaknesses.

open adjective (NOT COVERED)

not enclosed or covered:

The park is one of the city’s largest open spaces.

open adjective (AVAILABLE)

[ not gradable ] available; not limited:

Are there any positions open in the marketing department?
This library is open to the general public.
Their behavior at these negotiations is open to criticism (= can be criticized).
I’m open to (= willing to consider) any reasonable suggestion.
adverb us /ˈoʊ·pən·li/

She talked about her cancer quite openly.
noun [ U ] us /ˈoʊ·pən·nəs/

openverb [ I/T ]

us /ˈoʊ·pən/

open verb [ I/T ] (BEGIN)

to begin something or cause it to begin:

[ T ] I would like to open the meeting by asking each of you to introduce yourself.
[ M ] They’re opening up a new restaurant in about a month.
[ I ] The film opens (= will be shown for the first time) next week.

open verb [ I/T ] (MAKE READY FOR USE)

to become or make something ready to provide a service:

[ I ] The cleaners opens (up) around seven.
[ T ] They opened the exhibit to the public yesterday.
adjective [ not gradable ] us /ˈoʊ·pə·nɪŋ/

He made some opening remarks, then introduced the main speaker.

(Definition of “open” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"open" in Business English

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uk /ˈəʊpən/ us

COMMERCE if a shop, bank, office, etc. is open, its door are unlocked and it is doing business:

Our offices are open from 9 to 5.
The club has a liquor license allowing it to remain open until 2 a.m.
The new airport terminal is now open for business.

STOCK MARKET if a financial market is open, investors can trade shares, bonds, etc. on it:

For the purposes of this agreement, a business day is any day that the New York Stock Exchange is open for business.

willing to consider something:

open to sth A spokesman for the organization said they were open to a deal at the right price.
open to offers/suggestions/negotiation

available to be used, considered, etc. :

open to sth Membership is open to all local businesses.
leave the door/option/possibility open The appeals court left open the possibility that the computing giant could be forced to change its business practices.

not secret or hidden from members, the public, etc.:

open about sth After the economic crisis, consumers expect banks to be more open and transparent about their lending policies.

allowing everyone to share their ideas and information:

open debate/dialogue/discussion These are complicated questions, and we welcome an open discussion about them.

IT if a computer file, document, or program is open, it is ready to be used:

Make sure the file you're copying to is open before you click 'Paste'.
keep your options open

to avoid doing or deciding something immediately in case there is a better opportunity to consider later:

They are still keeping their options open but a merger is a strong possibility.
open court

LAW a court of law where the details of a case are available to the public:

The law firm didn't want the hearings held in open court because it feared the press would influence public opinion.
open question

something which has not been decided yet:

How voters will view this latest crisis remains an open question.
have/keep an open mind

to wait until you know all the facts before forming an opinion or making a decision about something:

The judge urged the jury to keep an open mind until they had heard all the evidence.


uk /ˈəʊpən/ us

[ I or T ] COMMERCE to start doing business and dealing with customers :

We open daily from 11 to 6.

[ I or T ] COMMERCE to start a new business:

The Chicago-based coffee chain has opened branches in every major city in the UK.

[ I ] STOCK MARKET if shares, bonds, etc. open at a particular price or rate, that is the amount they are worth when trading starts that day:

Share prices on the London Stock Exchange opened lower today.

[ T ] to start something:

open a conference/meeting/proceedings The Chief Executive opened the meeting with an announcement of big redundancies throughout the group.
open discussions/negotiations/talks The union had not yet decided when to open negotiations with management.

[ T ] IT if you open a computer file, document, or program you make it ready for you to start reading or working on:

You can open the program from the menu or by double-clicking the icon.
open an account

BANKING to enter into an agreement with a bank or other financial organization so that they look after your money:

Open an internet savings account before the end of March and get a free mobile phone.
open your borders/markets

COMMERCE to allow foreign countries to sell their goods and products in your country with fair conditions:

The US threatened to put a 100% tax on Japan's luxury cars unless it agreed to open its markets to US cars and parts.
open doors for sb also open the door for sb

to make it possible for someone to do something:

The former Republican candidate was key in opening the door for more women to run for office in the US.
open the floodgates (to sb/sth)

to make a lot of people do something by removing a rule that stopped it being possible before, especially when you do not want this to happen:

Banks feared the legal action could open the floodgates for customers to sue over high fees.

Phrasal verb(s)

opennoun [ S ]

uk /ˈəʊpən/ us

STOCK MARKET the time when a stock market begins trading:

Bonds rose at the open after a cut in German interest rates.
Stocks fell heavily at the open of trading today.

(Definition of “open” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)