General English

  • adjective available for use by or the enjoyment of the public
  • verb to make something open
  • verb to start doing something, to start a business

General Science

  • verb to take a cover off something or to make a door open


  • adjective ready to accept something
  • verb to start a new business
  • verb to set something up or make something available


  • adjective called up and prepared before reading or writing actions can occur
  • verb to call up and prepare a file before accessing, editing, or carrying out other transactions on stored records


  • verb to begin the innings of the batting side by being the first batsman (or one of the two first batsmen) to face the bowling
    Citation ‘Jardine and Sutcliffe opened for England, and never appeared to be in the slightest difficulty with the bowling’ (Cricketer Spring Annual 1933)
    Citation ‘No. 3 misses the occasional loosener that comes the way of the opening batsman’ (Brearley 1982)
    Citation ‘Ganguly has won the toss and chosen to bat, Tendulkar walks out with Sehwag to open the innings’ (Bhattacharya 2006)
  • verb to bowl the first over or overs in an innings
    Citation ‘The Queensland fast bowler Fisher opened to Richardson down a fairish breeze from the pavilion end’ (Peebles 1959)
    Citation ‘Brett Lee opened with a wide, and Trescothick and Strauss only had to play at a couple of deliveries in the first three overs’ (Haigh 2005)


  • Discontinuous and/or broken. For instance, an open circuit does not have an uninterrupted path for current. A switch in the open position is the same as being off. Also, to make incomplete.
  • To start or initiate. For instance, to open a program or window, or to establish a communications link.
  • Said of a communications line or circuit which is available for use. Also, to make such a line or circuit available.
  • Not forming a self-contained unit or system.
  • Not blocking or otherwise obstructing. Also, to unblock.
  • Having a space or gap, as opposed to not having such a space or gap. Also, to make a space or gap.
  • A file which is being used or accessed at a given moment. Also, to open such a file.
  • Accessible to all, or designed to work across different architectures or with varied products. For example, an open architecture. Also, to make accessible in this manner.


  • A term used to describe the time of the beginning of trading in a market; the first price during a trading session at which an asset or contract trades at. In the forex market, the Open begins in the Australia and New Zealand markets at 10PM GMT on Sunday.

Media Studies

  • adjective referring to a narrative without a definite conclusion or resolution at the end.


  • adjective with the pages visible or not closed


  • used to describe a wine that is full-flavoured and ready to drink

Origin & History of “open”

Etymologically, open means ‘turned up’ or ‘put up’. It comes ultimately from a prehistoric Germanic *upanaz, an adjective based on the ancestor of up, and therefore presumably denoted originally the raising of a lid or cover. The German verb aufmachen ‘open’, literally ‘make up’, contains the adverb auf, the German equivalent to English up. The English verb open (OE) is a derivative of the adjective.