Brief 1 – Research

Definition in English:




open adjective (NOT CLOSED)

Not closed or fastened

an open door/window

An open suitcase lay on her bed.

An Open Book lay on the desk. Image 06 is Open Sky over Inch Strand, Diggle Peninsula, Ireland.

You left the container open. Image 01 is an open jar of Brylcreem

Someone had left the window wide (= completely) open.

He had several nasty open wounds (= those which had not begun to heal).

open adjective (READY)

[ after verb]

ready to be used or ready to provide a serviceImage 2 an open shop

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.

open adjective (NOT ENCLOSED)

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).

open adjective (COMPUTER)

If a computer document or program is open, it is ready to be read or used: 

Make sure you have both files open at the same time.

open adjective (AVAILABLE)

[ 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).

open adjective (NOT SECRET)

not secret

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

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.

open adjective (NOT DECIDED)

not decided or certain

We don’t have to make a firm decision yet. Let’s leave it open.

We can leave our offer open for another week, but we have to have your decision by then.

want to keep my options open, so I’m not committing myself yet. 

open adjective (OF QUESTION)

An open question can be answered in many different ways, and not with just “yes” or “no” or by choosing one of a number of fixed answers

Ask an open question along the lines of “What do you think/feel about this?”

The interviewer should ask open and probing questions.

Open or opened?

We use open as an adjective to mean ‘not closed’: …

greet/welcome sb with open arms




open verb (BEGIN) 

[ 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.


open verb (NOT CLOSED)

[ 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. Image 03 Open Eyes and Mouth

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.

[ 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.

open verb (READY) 

[ 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.

[ T ]

If someone, usually someone important, opens a buildingevent, etc., they officiallysay that it is ready to be used or to start operating

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

open verb (AVAILABLE) 

[ T ]

to make something available

This research opens (up) the possibility of being able to find a cure for the disease.

The country is planning to open (up) its economy to foreign investment.

open verb (COMPUTER)

[ T ]

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

To open a new documentclick “File” and then click “New”.

Open or opened?

We use open as an adjective to mean ‘not closed’: …


noun [ S ]


open noun [S] (NOT ENCLOSED)

the open

somewhere outsiderather than in a buildingImage 04 Open Space

It’s good to be (out) in the open after being cooped up in an office all day.

 Thesaurus: synonyms and related words 

open noun [S] (NOT SECRET)

bring something out into the open

to tell people information that was secret

It’s time this issue was brought out into the open.


adjectiveadverb [ not gradable ]


open adjectiveadverb [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.


in the open

open someone’s eyes

open fire

open your mouth

open the floodgates




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.

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 behaviour at these negotiations is open to criticism (= can be criticized).

I’m open to (= willing to consider) any reasonable suggestion.


adverb US 

She talked about her cancer quite openly.


noun [ U ] US 

The agency released detailed plans for greater openness and stronger standards in the international marketplace.


verb [ I/T ]



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 


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

Phrasal verbs

open up

open up

open up something

open up something

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




 /ˈəʊpən/ US


if a shopbankoffice, 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.


if a financial market is open, investors can trade sharesbonds, 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 rightprice.

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 welcomean open discussion about them.

open communication


if a computer filedocument, 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


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.




 /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.


if sharesbonds, 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 filedocument, 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.


close (something) down

open an account


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


to allow foreign countries to sell their goods and products in your country with fairconditions

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 somebody (also open the door for somebody)

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

open up


noun [ S ]


 /ˈəʊpən/ US 


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)