opening

An opening is an empty space. That opening in the back of your closet might lead to a secret room. A job opening, on the other hand, is an available job that could open you up to an entirely new career.

There are openings in crowds you can slip through if you're in a hurry, and openings, or availabilities, in classes you really want to take. You can also use this versatile noun to mean the very first performance of a play or the initial night of an art show. Many things that come first are openings, in fact, like the opening move in a chess game or the opening scene of your novel.

Definitions of opening
  1. noun
    an open or empty space in or between things
    “there was a small opening between the trees”
    synonyms: gap
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    examples:
    Denali Fault
    a major open geological fault in Alaska
    San Andreas Fault
    a major geological fault in California; runs from San Diego to San Francisco; the source of serious earthquakes
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    pocket
    an opening at the corner or on the side of a billiard table into which billiard balls are struck
    diastema
    a gap or vacant space between two teeth
    Ranvier's nodes, nodes of Ranvier
    small gaps in the myelin sheath of medullated axons
    foramen, hiatus
    a natural opening or perforation through a bone or a membranous structure
    breach
    an opening (especially a gap in a dike or fortification)
    chasm
    a deep opening in the earth's surface
    cleft, crack, crevice, fissure, scissure
    a long narrow opening
    hole
    an opening into or through something
    mouth
    an opening that resembles a mouth (as of a cave or a gorge)
    rift
    a gap between cloud masses
    rent, rip, snag, split, tear
    an opening made forcibly as by pulling apart
    window
    an opening that resembles a window in appearance or function
    corner pocket
    a pocket at the corner of a billiard table
    side pocket
    a pocket on the side of a billiard table
    Monro's foramen, foramen of Monro, interventricular foramen
    the small opening (on both the right and left sides) that connects the third ventricle in the diencephalon with the lateral ventricle in the cerebral hemisphere
    foramen magnum
    the large opening at the base of the cranium through which the spinal cord passes
    abysm, abyss
    a bottomless gulf or pit; any unfathomable (or apparently unfathomable) cavity or chasm or void extending below (often used figuratively)
    aperture
    a natural opening in something
    bolt-hole
    a hole through which an animal may bolt when pursued into its burrow or den
    bullet hole
    a hole made by a bullet passing through it
    chap
    a crack in a lip caused usually by cold
    chink
    a narrow opening as e.g. between planks in a wall
    cranny
    a small opening or crevice (especially in a rock face or wall)
    crevasse
    a deep fissure
    fatigue crack
    a crack in metal resulting from metal fatigue
    break, fault, faulting, fracture, geological fault, shift
    (geology) a crack in the earth's crust resulting from the displacement of one side with respect to the other
    gulf
    a deep wide chasm
    leak
    an accidental hole that allows something (fluid or light etc.) to enter or escape
    ozone hole
    an area of the ozone layer (near the poles) that is seasonally depleted of ozone
    perforation
    a hole made in something
    rathole
    a hole (as in the wall of a building) made by rats
    rift
    a narrow fissure in rock
    slit
    a narrow fissure
    split
    a lengthwise crack in wood
    vent, volcano
    a fissure in the earth's crust (or in the surface of some other planet) through which molten lava and gases erupt
    knothole
    a hole in a board where a knot came out
    type of:
    space
    an empty area (usually bounded in some way between things)
  2. noun
    a vacant or unobstructed space that is man-made
    “they left a small opening for the cat at the bottom of the door”
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    aperture
    an man-made opening; usually small
    bell
    the flared opening of a tubular device
    breech, rear of barrel, rear of tube
    opening in the rear of the barrel of a gun where bullets can be loaded
    exit, issue, outlet, way out
    an opening that permits escape or release
    fly, fly front
    an opening in a garment that is closed by a zipper or by buttons concealed under a fold of cloth
    crack, gap
    a narrow opening
    gun muzzle, muzzle
    the open circular discharging end of a gun
    hole
    an opening deliberately made in or through something
    inlet, intake
    an opening through which fluid is admitted to a tube or container
    interstice
    small opening between things
    fenestella, lunette
    oval or circular opening; to allow light into a dome or vault
    mouth
    the opening of a jar or bottle
    neck, neck opening
    an opening in a garment for the neck of the wearer; a part of the garment near the wearer's neck
    pass-through
    an opening that resembles a window between two rooms (especially a shelved opening between a kitchen and dining room that is used to pass dishes)
    embrasure, port, porthole
    an opening (in a wall or ship or armored vehicle) for firing through
    slit
    a long narrow opening
    spout
    an opening that allows the passage of liquids or grain
    throat
    an opening in the vamp of a shoe at the instep
    grille, lattice, wicket
    small opening (like a window in a door) through which business can be transacted
    window
    a transparent opening in a vehicle that allow vision out of the sides or back; usually is capable of being opened
    window
    an opening in a wall or screen that admits light and air and through which customers can be served
    air hole
    a hole that allows the passage of air
    air horn
    air intake of a carburetor
    armhole
    a hole through which you put your arm and where a sleeve can be attached
    bunghole
    a hole in a barrel or cask; used to fill or empty it
    button hole, buttonhole
    a hole through which buttons are pushed
    car window
    a window in a car
    countersink
    a hole (usually in wood) with the top part enlarged so that a screw or bolt will fit into it and lie below the surface
    cup
    the hole (or metal container in the hole) on a golf green
    ear hole
    a hole (as in a helmet) for sound to reach the ears
    eye
    a small hole or loop (as in a needle)
    eyehole, eyelet
    a small hole (usually round and finished around the edges) in cloth or leather for the passage of a cord or hook or bar
    finger hole
    a hole for inserting a finger
    finger hole
    one of a series of holes in a woodwind instrument; pitch changes when a finger covers it
    gargoyle
    a spout that terminates in a grotesquely carved figure of a person or animal
    hawse, hawsehole, hawsepipe
    the hole that an anchor rope passes through
    jag
    a slit in a garment that exposes material of a different color underneath; used in Renaissance clothing
    keyhole
    the hole where a key is inserted
    blank, lacuna
    a blank gap or missing part
    loophole
    a small hole in a fortified wall; for observation or discharging weapons
    lubber's hole
    hole in a platform on a mast through which a sailor can climb without going out on the shrouds
    manhole
    a hole (usually with a flush cover) through which a person can gain access to an underground structure
    mortice, mortise
    a square hole made to receive a tenon and so to form a joint
    mouth hole
    a hole (as in a ski mask) for the mouth
    embouchure, mouthpiece
    the aperture of a wind instrument into which the player blows directly
    mouthpiece
    a part that goes over or into the mouth of a person
    nail hole
    a hole left after a nail is removed
    neckline
    the line formed by the edge of a garment around the neck
    nose, nozzle
    a projecting spout from which a fluid is discharged
    outfall
    the outlet of a river or drain or other source of water
    eyehole, peephole, spyhole
    a hole (in a door or an oven etc) through which you can peep
    perforation
    a line of small holes for tearing at a particular place
    plughole
    a hole into which a plug fits (especially a hole where water drains away)
    gunpoint, point
    the gun muzzle's direction
    post hole, posthole
    a hole dug in the ground to hold a fence post
    puncture
    a small hole made by a sharp object
    siamese, siamese connection
    an inlet with two or more couplings to which a hose can be attached so that fire engines can pump water into the sprinkler system of a building
    slot
    a small slit (as for inserting a coin or depositing mail)
    sound hole
    a hole in a soundboard (as of a violin) designed to resonate with the tones
    spark gap
    the gap between two high-potential terminals
    thumbhole
    the hole in a woodwind that is closed and opened with the thumb
    ticket window
    a window through which tickets are sold (as from a ticket booth)
    blowhole, vent, vent-hole, venthole
    a hole for the escape of gas or air
    vent
    a slit in a garment (as in the back seam of a jacket)
    V neck
    the neck of a garment has the shape in front of the letter V
    type of:
    artefact, artifact
    a man-made object taken as a whole
  3. noun
    an aperture or hole that opens into a bodily cavity
    synonyms: orifice, porta
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    vent
    external opening of urinary or genital system of a lower vertebrate
    blastopore
    the opening into the archenteron
    aortic orifice
    the orifice from the lower left chamber of the heart to the aorta
    stoma
    a mouth or mouthlike opening (especially one created by surgery on the surface of the body to create an opening to an internal organ)
    porta hepatis
    opening for major blood vessels to enter and leave the liver
    spiracle
    a breathing orifice
    mouth
    the externally visible part of the oral cavity on the face and the system of organs surrounding the opening
    os
    a mouth or mouthlike opening
    cervix, cervix uteri, uterine cervix
    necklike opening to the uterus
    fenestra
    a small opening covered with membrane (especially one in the bone between the middle and inner ear)
    cardia
    the opening into the stomach and that part of the stomach connected to the esophagus
    introitus
    entrance or opening to a hollow organ or tube (especially the vaginal opening)
    external orifice, urethral orifice
    the orifice through which urine is discharged
    pylorus
    a small circular opening between the stomach and the duodenum
    anus
    the excretory opening at the end of the alimentary canal
    fontanel, fontanelle, soft spot
    any membranous gap between the bones of the cranium in an infant or fetus
    naris
    any of the openings to the nasal cavities that allow air to flow through the cavities to the pharynx
    rima
    a narrow elongated opening or fissure between two symmetrical parts
    cytostome
    mouth of a protozoan
    beak, bill, neb, nib, pecker
    horny projecting mouth of a bird
    beak
    beaklike mouth of animals other than birds (e.g., turtles)
    blowhole
    the spiracle of a cetacean located far back on the skull
    stigma
    an external tracheal aperture in a terrestrial arthropod
    mouth, oral cavity, oral fissure, rima oris
    the opening through which food is taken in and vocalizations emerge
    incompetent cervix
    (obstetrics) uterine cervix that becomes dilated before term and without labor often resulting in miscarriage or premature birth
    fenestra of the vestibule, fenestra ovalis, fenestra vestibuli, oval window
    fenestra that has the base of the stapes attached to it
    fenestra cochleae, fenestra of the cochlea, fenestra rotunda, round window
    fenestra leading into the cochlea
    pudendal cleavage, pudendal cleft, pudendal slit, rima pudendi, rima vulvae, urogenital cleft, vulvar slit
    the fissure between the labia majora
    asshole, bunghole
    vulgar slang for anus
    imperforate anus
    a congenital defect of the anus; there is partial or complete obstruction of the anal opening
    anterior fontanelle
    corresponds to the bregma when bones have ossified
    sphenoid fontanel, sphenoid fontanelle, sphenoidal fontanel, sphenoidal fontanelle
    the irregularly shaped area on either side of the cranium where the frontal bone and the anterior tip of the parietal bone and the temporal bone and the greater wing of the sphenoid bone meet; corresponds to the pterion when bones have ossified
    anterior naris, nostril
    either one of the two external openings to the nasal cavity in the nose
    posterior naris
    either one of the two posterior openings at the back of the nasal cavity leading to the nasopharynx
    glottis vera, rima glottidis, rima vocalis, true glottis
    the space between the two true vocal folds
    false glottis, glottis spuria, rima respiratoria, rima vestibuli
    the opening between the false vocal folds
    type of:
    passage, passageway
    a path or channel or duct through or along which something may pass
  4. noun
    an entrance equipped with a hatch; especially a passageway between decks of a ship
    synonyms: hatchway, scuttle
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    types:
    escape hatch
    hatchway that provides a means of escape in an emergency
    type of:
    entrance, entranceway, entree, entry, entryway
    something that provides access (to get in or get out)
  5. noun
    becoming open or being made open
    “the opening of his arms was the sign I was waiting for”
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    cut, cutting
    the act of penetrating or opening open with a sharp edge
    nick, notch, snick
    a small cut
    gash, slash
    a strong sweeping cut made with a sharp instrument
    incision, section, surgical incision
    the cutting of or into body tissues or organs (especially by a surgeon as part of an operation)
    type of:
    change of integrity
    the act of changing the unity or wholeness of something
  6. noun
    the act of opening something
    “the ray of light revealed his cautious opening of the door”
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    Antonyms:
    closing, shutting
    the act of closing something
    type of:
    motility, motion, move, movement
    a change of position that does not entail a change of location
  7. noun
    the first performance (as of a theatrical production)
    “the opening received good critical reviews”
    synonyms: curtain raising, opening night
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    type of:
    start
    the beginning of anything
  8. noun
    a ceremony accompanying the start of some enterprise
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    type of:
    ceremonial, ceremonial occasion, ceremony, observance
    a formal event performed on a special occasion
  9. noun
    the first of a series of actions
    synonyms: first step, initiative, opening move
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    types:
    curtain raiser
    any preliminary activity
    first base
    the initial stage in accomplishing something
    peace initiative
    opening move in negotiating a peace treaty
    type of:
    beginning, commencement, start
    the act of starting something
  10. noun
    the initial part of the introduction
    “the opening established the basic theme”
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    types:
    teaser
    an attention-getting opening presented at the start of a television show
    salutation
    word of greeting used to begin a letter
    type of:
    introduction
    the first section of a communication
  11. noun
    a recognized sequence of moves at the beginning of a game of chess
    synonyms: chess opening
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    type of:
    sequence, succession
    the action of following in order
  12. adjective
    first or beginning
    “the memorable opening bars of Beethoven's Fifth”
    “the play's opening scene”
    Synonyms:
    beginning, first
    serving to begin
    first, inaugural, initiative, initiatory, maiden
    serving to set in motion
    introductory
    serving to open or begin
    starting
    appropriate to the beginning or start of an event
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    Antonyms:
    closing
    final or ending
    concluding, final, last, terminal
    occurring at or forming an end or termination
    terminative
    coming to an end
    year-end
    taking place at the close of a fiscal year
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  13. noun
    a possible alternative
    synonyms: possibility, possible action
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    types:
    possible
    something that can be done
    type of:
    alternative, choice, option
    one of a number of things from which only one can be chosen
  14. noun
    opportunity especially for employment or promotion
    “there is an opening in the sales department”
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    type of:
    chance, opportunity
    a possibility due to a favorable combination of circumstances
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