open up - definition and synonyms

phrasal verb
present tense
I/you/we/theyopen up
he/she/itopens up
present participleopening up
past tenseopened up
past participleopened up
  1. 1
    [intransitive/transitive] to open a locked door, container, or building

    He opens up the shop every morning.

    Open up! This is the police!

  2. 2
    [intransitive/transitive] to make it easier to travel or do business in a country

    The building of canals opened up the interior of the country.

    open up to:

    China is opening up to foreign investment.

  3. 3
    [intransitive/transitive] to create a new opportunity or possibility

    New markets are opening up every day.

  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] to create a difference between the people or groups involved in something

    The issue of Europe has opened up deep divisions within the party.

    United have opened up a 6-point lead over their nearest rivals.

  5. 5
    [intransitive] to talk more about your personal feelings and experiences
    open up to:

    It’s taken a few months, but Katy is finally starting to open up to me.

  6. 6
    [intransitive/transitive] if a discussion opens up, or if you open it up, it becomes more general or starts to include more subjects

    I think we need to open up the discussion and ask members of the audience for their opinions.

  7. 7
    [intransitive] to start shooting a gun

    He opened up on the crowd with an automatic rifle.

     Synonyms and related words
  8. 8
    [transitive] open someone up informal to cut into someone’s body for medical reasons

    When they opened her up they found a huge tumour.

  9. 9
    [intransitive/transitive] same as open2 (sense 5)

    Donald wants to retire and open up a bookshop.

  10. 10
    [intransitive/transitive] if something opens up, or if you open it up, it opens from a folded position so that you can see its shape

    The rose buds are beginning to open up.

    She opened her umbrella up at the first drops of rain.

See also main entry: open