2 verb
open2 S1 W1

door/window etc

[intransitive and transitive] to move a door, window etc so that people, things, air etc can pass through, or to be moved in this way:
Jack opened the window.
He opened the drawer of the desk.
She heard a door open and then close.


[transitive] to unfasten or remove the lid, top, or cover of a container, package etc:
Louise opened a bottle of wine.
He opened the letter and began to read it.
The children were opening their presents.
Mark was about to open a beer when the doorbell rang.


[intransitive and transitive] to raise your eyelids so that you can see, or to be raised in this way:
Barry was awake long before he opened his eyes.
Carrie smelled coffee and her eyes opened reluctantly.


[intransitive and transitive] to move your lips apart, or to be moved in this way:
He opened his mouth but couldn't think what to say.

start operating

[intransitive and transitive] also open upBBT if a place such as an office, shop, restaurant etc opens or is opened, it starts operating or providing a service:
Sarah had recently opened an office in Genoa.
French and Scandinavian offices are due to open in the autumn.
The Forestry Commission has opened a plant centre selling rare plants.
The centre has been a great success since it opened its doors a year ago.

shop/restaurant etc

[intransitive] also open upB to start business, letting in customers or visitors, at a particular time:
What time do the banks open?
The bakery opens early.

start an activity

[transitive] to start an activity, event, or set of actions:
The US attorney's office has opened an investigation into the matter.
An inquest into the deaths will be opened next week.


[transitive] to make a document or computer program ready to use:
Click on this icon to open the File Manager.


[intransitive and transitive] if a meeting etc opens or is opened in a particular way, it starts in that way:
Hughes, opening the Conference, made a dramatic plea for peace.
open with
The concert opens with Beethoven's Egmont Overture.

official ceremony

[transitive]PGO to perform a ceremony in which you officially state that a building is ready to be used:
The new County Hall building was officially opened by the King.


[intransitive and transitive] to spread something out or unfold something, or to become spread out or unfolded:
She opened her umbrella.
John opened his hand to show her he wasn't holding anything.
The flowers only open during bright weather.
I sat down and opened my book.
She opened the curtains (=pulled the two curtains apart).
Dave opened his arms (=stretched his arms wide apart) to give her a hug.

make a way through

[transitive]TTR to make it possible for cars, goods etc to pass through a place:
They were clearing away snow to open the tunnel.
The peace treaty promises an end to war and opens the borders between the two countries.

film/play etc

[intransitive] to start being shown to the public:
Paula and Rachael star as mother and daughter in the play, which opens tonight.
The film opened yesterday to excellent reviews.

open an account

BFB to start an account at a bank or other financial organization by putting money into it:
Mary was in the bank to ask about opening a current account.

open fire (on something)

PMW to start shooting at someone or something:
Troops opened fire on the rioters.

open the door/way to something

also open doors to make an opportunity for something to happen:
Research on genes should open the door to exciting new medical treatments.
If the record is successful, it could open doors for my career.

open somebody's eyes (to something)

to make someone realize something that they had not realized before:
The purpose of the training is to open managers' eyes to the consequences of their own behaviour.

open your mind (to something)

to be ready to consider or accept new ideas

open your heart (to somebody)

to tell someone your real thoughts and feelings because you trust them

the heavens opened

literary it started to rain heavily

➔ open the floodgates

at floodgate

open onto/into something

phrasal verb
if a room, door etc opens onto or into another place, you can enter that other place directly through it:
The door opens onto a long balcony.

open out

phrasal verb
1TTR if a road, path, or passage opens out, it becomes wider
open out into
Beyond the forest the path opened out into a track.
2 British English if someone opens out, they become less shy

open up

phrasal verb


if opportunities open up, or a new situation opens them up, they become available or possible:
With a microscope, a whole new world of investigation opens up.
open something ↔ up
The new international agreement opens up the possibility of much greater co-operation against terrorism.


open something ↔ up

if someone opens up an area of land, they make it easier to reach and ready for development:
The new road will open up 300 acres of prime development land.

door/container etc

to open something that is closed, locked, or covered:
Open up, this is the police!
open something ↔ up
He opened up his case and took out a clean sweater.

shop/office etc

a) B if a shop, office etc opens up or is opened up, someone starts it
b) BBT if a shop, office etc opens up at a particular time, it starts business at that time


open something ↔ up

to start a discussion or argument:
The article was written with the intention of opening up a public debate.


if someone opens up a lead in a competition or race, they increase the distance or number of points by which they are winning


to stop being shy and say what you really think:
Last night was the first time that Ken had opened up about his feelings.

with a gun

PMW to start shooting

hole/crack etc

if a hole, crack etc opens up or is opened up, it appears and becomes wider
WORD FOCUS: computer WORD FOCUS: computer
people who work with computers: user, programmer, web designer, IT person, software engineer, (systems) analyst, administrator, webmaster, helpdesk, techie informal, geek disapproving informal

someone who tries to break into a computer system: hacker, cracker

things you do with your computer: start up/power up your computer
a file or document
click on
an icon
cut and paste
pieces of text
files or programs
scroll up and down
the page
things you do not want
files or pictures from the Internet
CDs or DVDs
a file or document
your work
shut down
your computer

computer problems: bug, virus, error, corrupted file/data, crash, worm

See also

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