Something that's open-ended doesn't have a specific end date or time. You might buy an open-ended plane ticket to Rome if you're not sure when — or if — you'll want to come home.

Things that are limitless, or that have no restrictions or restraints, can be called open-ended. An open-ended lease on a apartment doesn't end on a specific day, and an open-ended babysitting job would be somewhat casual, rather than a regular, reliable job. Open-ended questions are complicated ones — they can't be answered with a simple "yes" or "no." The adjective open-ended has been in use since the mid-1800s.

Definitions of open-ended
  1. adjective
    without fixed limits or restrictions
    “an open-ended discussion”
    not subject to or subjected to restriction
  2. adjective
    allowing for future changes or revisions
    open-ended agreements”
    changeable, changeful
    such that alteration is possible; having a marked tendency to change
  3. adjective
    allowing for a spontaneous response
    “an open-ended question”
    indeterminate, undetermined
    not precisely determined or established; not fixed or known in advance
Word Family

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