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open (one's) mind (to something)
To become or cause one to become receptive to or prepared to consider something, such as a topic, idea, opinion, perspective, etc. Being in college really helped open my mind to the myriad of beliefs and ideals to which different people around the world adhere. I know you're hesitant about seeing a psychic about this, but try opening your mind a bit—you might be pleasantly surprised!
open (oneself) (up) to criticism
1. To do something that leaves oneself vulnerable to criticism from others. Don't ever openly or directly admit that you've done something wrong while you're in a leadership position, or you'll just open yourself to criticism from all sides. The prime minister has really been opening herself up to criticism with the way she's been backpedaling on her positions recently.
2. To allow others to give one criticism. You'll never improve as a writer if you don't open yourself up to criticism more.
open (up) a can of worms
To initiate, instigate, or reveal a situation that is or is likely to become very complicated or problematic or that will have a negative outcome. I worry that trying to tweak the existing system could open up a can of worms that we're not anticipating. The candidate opened a can of worms when he made those inflammatory comments. Now the entire election has been dominated by the topic.
open a conversation (with one)
To begin a speaking with one; to strike up a conversation with one. I just find it so hard to open a conversation with someone I don't know. They kept getting interrupted every time they tried opening a conversation.
open a few doors
To create an opportunity for employment or advancement in one's career. Not all of us have a rich father who can open a few doors at companies around the world—some of us had to work to get where we are. I'm hoping that finally finishing my bachelor's degree will open a few doors for me in my career.
To create an opportunity for employment or advancement in one's career. Not all of us have a rich father who can open doors at companies around the world—some of us had to work to get where we are.
1. verb Literally, to fire or begin firing a gun (at someone). The troops opened fire as soon as they saw the militants exit the building.
2. verb By extension, to begin attacking, criticizing, or interrogating someone. The reporters opened fire on the commissioner with a barrage of intense questions.
3. noun A fire not contained by a fireplace or stove. There's nothing quite like roasting marshmallows over an open fire.
open fire on (someone)
1. Literally, to fire or begin firing a gun at someone. The troops opened fire as soon as they saw the militants exit the building.
2. By extension, to begin attacking, criticizing, or interrogating someone. The reporters opened fire on the commissioner with a barrage of intense questions.
open for business
1. Currently operational and accepting business from clients. We had a few setbacks with city regulators, but our new store is finally open for business!
2. To create and launch a business to do business with others. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "open" and "for." My great-grandfather opened our first store for business 100 years ago today.
open into (something)
1. To lead into some larger place or thing. The narrow ravine opens into a huge, lush valley. The patio opens into a large courtyard shared by the various residents of the building.
2. To lead into some larger or different topic or subject of conversation. The debate about tax reform opened into a discussion about what else could be done to curb the national deficit.
See also: open
open on (something)
To begin with some specific thing. The panel discussion opened on a debate about the proposed tax reform legislation. The film opens on a shot of the hero looking out over the valley at dusk.
1. To expand, widen, or spread out. The small path in the underbrush finally began to open out so that we could walk comfortably next to each other. The box the game came in opens out into a full-sized poster.
2. To expand, widen, or spread out something. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "open" and "out." She opened out the map to show me where the cabin was located. Would you open the stroller out for me? It feels stuck.
open out on(to) something
To expand and lead to some larger area. The winding mountain road opened out on an overlook that provided a stunning view of the city below. Our back yard opens out onto an enormous forest.
open some doors
To create an opportunity for employment or advancement in one's career. Not all of us have a rich father who can open some doors at companies around the world—some of us had to work to get where we are. I'm hoping that finally finishing my bachelor's degree will open some doors for me in my career.
open the door for (someone or something)
1. Literally, to open a door for another person. Open the door for me, will you? I have my hands full right now. Now that I'm on crutches, I really appreciate it when people open the door for me.
2. To create an opportunity for someone or something. Female professors like you really opened the door for future generations of women scholars. Recent advancements in technology really opened the door for my latest invention to gain widespread acceptance.
open the eyes of (someone)
To cause someone to see, realize, or understand the truth about something. The local painter has been trying to use his art to open the eyes of his fellow citizens to the injustices suffered by the homeless in the town.
open the way for (one)
To allow or make it possible for one to do something. This change in legislation will open the way for us to streamline our import services.
1. To spread or unfold outward. As we came out of the mountain pass, the road opened up and the great plains lay before us.
2. To become open; to no longer be closed. The country's borders opened up again for the first time since the crisis. The box opened up all on its own while it played a pleasant little jingle.
3. To open something, as by removing a lid or other seal or means of closure. A noun or pronoun can be used between "open" and "up." Open the box up—let's see what's inside! Open up the hood so I can take a look at the engine.
4. Of an establishment, to begin operation for the first time. I hear there's a new movie theater opening up across town.
5. To open at the beginning of the business or work day. What time in the morning do you typically open up? My office building opens up at 7 AM, so I'll be able to get in early and make some tweaks before the meeting.
6. To fire or begin firing a gun (at someone). The troops opened up as soon as they saw the militants exit the building.
7. By extension (of meaning 4), to begin attacking, criticizing, or interrogating someone. The reporters opened up on the commissioner with a barrage of intense questions.
8. To speak candidly; to reveal one's inner thoughts or emotions. Often followed by "with/to (someone)." I've been trying to get Jeff to open up a bit, but he just likes to keep things to himself. You need to learn to open up to your wife, or your relationship is doomed for failure.
9. To become available or viable. The company is so massive that there are jobs opening up all the time. With recent changes in the legislation, that region is opening up as a potential new market.
open up a/(one's) lead
To create some amount of distance between one's leading position in some competition, especially a race or election, and the rest of the competitors. Jones has opened up quite a lead here—I don't think anyone can catch him! She opened up her lead on the first straightaway, which was key to her dominant victory. The political newcomer has been opening up a surprising lead in the presidential primaries.
open with (someone or something)
To begin (something) with a specific person, topic, discussion, performance, etc. A noun or pronoun can be used between "open" and "with." He opened the presentation with a terrible joke that put everyone on edge immediately. I was thinking we could open with ventriloquists and then follow them up with the magician. So the show will open with Rob, who will warm the audience up and then introduce all the different speakers.
See also: open
One's initial or opening stratagem, maneuver, or tactic meant to give one an advantage. It was a risky opening gambit for the team to throw a Hail Mary on the first play of the game, but it took their opponents by surprise and resulted in a touchdown. The candidate's opening gambit in the debate was to bring up his opponent's marital infidelities, which had come to light in recent weeks.
the opening of an envelope
Any event, celebration, or ceremony, no matter how trivial or unremarkable, that one attends purely for the sake of visibility. Often said in relation to celebrities or media personalities who make a point of attending anything that will give them more public exposure. In a bid to cultivate a media buzz around herself, the Internet sensation has been to the openings of films, book launches, and celebrity galas. With the way she carries on, she'd even go to the opening of an envelope!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
open a few doors
(for someone) Go to open some doors (for someone).
(on someone) Fig. to start (doing something, such as asking questions or criticizing). (Based on open fire on someone or something.) The reporters opened fire on the mayor. When the reporters opened fire, the mayor was smiling, but not for long.
open fire (on someone or something)
to begin shooting at someone or something. The troops opened fire on the enemy. The trainees opened fire on the target.
open for business
[of a shop, store, restaurant, etc.] operating and ready to do business. The store is now open for business and invites you to come in. The construction will be finished in March, and we will be open for business in April.
open some doors (for someone)and open a few doors (for someone)
Fig. to gain access to opportunity or influence (for someone). Morris was able to open a few doors for Mary and get her an interview with thepres-ident.
open someone up
Fig. to perform a surgical operation requiring a major incision on someone. The doctor had to open George up to find out what was wrong. They opened up George, seeking the cause of his illness.
open something out
to unfold or expand something; to open and spread something out. When she opened the fan out, she saw it was made of plastic. The peacock opened out its tail feathers and delighted the children.
open something up
1. Lit. to unwrap something; to open something. Yes, Iwantto open my presents up. Ican't wait to open up my presents. Open up this door!
2. Fig. to begin examining or discussing something. Do you really want to open it up now? Now is the time to open up the question of taxes.
3. . Fig. to reveal the possibilities of something; to reveal an opportunity. Your letter opened new possibilities up. Your comments opened up a whole new train of thought.
4. Fig. to start the use of something, such as land, a building, a business, etc. They opened the coastal lands up to resort development. We opened up a new store last March.
5. Fig. to make a vehicle go as fast as possible. (As in opening up the throttle.) We took the new car out on the highway and opened it up. I've never really opened up this truck. I don't know how fast it'll go.
6. to make something less congested. They opened the yard up by cutting out a lot of old shrubbery. We opened up the room by taking the piano out.
open something up (to someone)
to make something available to someone; to permit someone to join something or participate in something. We intend to open the club up to everyone. We will open up our books to the auditors.
1. Lit. open your door; open your mouth. (Usually Open up!) I want in. Open up! Open up! This is the police.
2. Fig. to become available. A new job is opening up at my office. Let me know if any other opportunities open up.
3. Fig. to go as fast as possible. (As in opening up the throttle.) I can't get this car to open up. Must be something wrong with the engine. Faster, Tom! Open up! Let's go!
4. to become clear, uncluttered, or open. As we drove along, the forest opened up, and we entered into a grassy plain. The sky opened up, and the sun shone.
(about someone or something) (with someone) and open up (on someone or something) (with someone) to speak freely about someone or something; to speak a great deal about someone or something. After a while, he began to open up about his disagreements. He opened up with us about the accident. She opened up on Fred with Alice.
(on someone, something, or an animal) to fire a gun or other weapon at someone, something, or an animal. The sergeant told the soldiers to open up on the enemy position. "Okay, you guys," shouted the sergeant. "Open up!"
(to someone) and open up (with someone) to tell [everything] to someone; to confess to someone. If she would only open up to me, perhaps I could help her. She just won't open up. Everything is "private."
(with someone) Go to open up (to someone).
Fig. an opening movement, tactic, or statement which is made to secure a position that is to one's advantage. The rebel army's opening gambit was to bomb the city's business district. The prosecution's opening gambit was to call a witness who linked the defendant to the scene of the crime.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Begin a verbal attack, as in In her second letter to the editor she opened fire, saying the reporter had deliberately misquoted her . This idiom alludes to discharging a firearm. [Mid-1800s]
1. Spread out, unfold, as in A green valley opened up before us. [Early 1800s]
2. Begin operation, as in The new store opens up next month. [Late 1700s]
3. Begin firing, begin attacking, as in The artillery opened up at dawn, or, figuratively, The speaker opened up fiercely on the opposition. [1930s] Also see open fire.
4. Speak freely and candidly, as in At last the witness opened up and told what happened. " Colloquial; c. 1920]
5. Make an opening by cutting, as in The surgeon opened up the patient's chest.
6. Become available or accessible, as in With new markets opening up all the time we hope to see our revenues increase dramatically. [Mid-1800s]
7. Increase the speed of a vehicle, as in Let's see how fast the car will go if you open it up. [Colloquial; c. 1920]
8. Open the door, let me (or us) in, as in Open up! This is the police. [Mid-1900s] Note that in all of these usages except def. 4 and 7, up serves as an intensifier, that is, it emphasizes the verb open.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
open ˈfire (on somebody/something)start shooting (at somebody/something): The officer gave the order to open fire on the enemy. OPPOSITE: hold your fire
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. To become wider: The river opens out as it heads toward the bay.
2. To unfold or expand so that inner parts are displayed; spread out: The couch opened out into a bed.
3. To unfold or expand something; spread something out: I opened the couch out into a bed. Let's open out the model to see how it works.
4. open out on To be a passage or opening to some larger external space: After we remodel, the living room will open out on to the kitchen.
1. To release something from a closed or fastened position: Please open up the cabinet and take out the plates. We opened the trunk up and found some old clothing.
2. To remove obstructions from something; clear something: The change in weather opened up my sinuses. The cancellation of that meeting opened my schedule up.
3. To become free from obstruction: After the debris was removed from the road, the traffic opened up.
4. To spread out; unfold: A green valley opened up before us.
5. To begin operation, as a business or office: The new store opens up next month.
6. To begin firing: The artillery opened up at dawn.
7. To speak freely and candidly: At last the frightened witness opened up and told the truth.
8. To make an opening in something or someone by cutting: The surgeon opened up the patient's chest.
9. To make something available or accessible: The new CEO plans to open up markets overseas. The snow opens the possibility up of a good ski season.
10. To accelerate. Used of a motor vehicle: The sports car opened up and roared down the road.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
To begin firing a gun or guns.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
can of worms, it's a/like opening a
Introducing a complicated problem or unsolvable dilemma. The metaphor alludes to the live bait of fishermen. In a jar or other container, they form an inextricable tangle, wriggling and entwining themselves with one another. The term is American in origin, dating from the mid-twentieth century.
The first move in a contest, game, or competition of some kind. The term comes from chess and is actually redundant, since in that game gambit signifies a way of opening the game that involves sacrificing a pawn or other piece in order to gain some advantage over one’s opponent. It was being used figuratively by the mid-1800s, and for some reason opening was added in later decades.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer