1. To prepare to read or write a file. This usually involves checking whether the file already exists and that the user has the necessary authorisation to read or write it. The result of a successful open is usually some kind of capability (e.g. a Unix file descriptor) - a token that the user passes back to the system in order to access the file without further checks and finally to close the file.

2. Abbreviation for "open (or left) parenthesis" - used when necessary to eliminate oral ambiguity. To read aloud the LISP form (DEFUN FOO (X) (PLUS X 1)) one might say: "Open defun foo, open eks close, open, plus eks one, close close."

3. Non-proprietary. An open standard is one which can be used without payment.

(01 Jan 1995)

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Open or unobstructed space; clear land, without trees or obstructions; open ocean; open water. "To sail into the open." "Then we got into the open." (W. Black) In open, in full view; without concealment; openly.

1. Free of access; not shut up; not closed; affording unobstructed ingress or egress; not impeding or preventing passage; not locked up or covered over; applied to passageways; as, an open door, window, road, etc.; also, to inclosed structures or objects; as, open houses, boxes, baskets, bottles, etc.; also, to means of communication or approach by water or land; as, an open harbor or roadstead. "Through the gate, Wide open and unquarded, Satan passed." (Milton)

Also, figuratively, used of the ways of communication of the mind, as by the senses; ready to hear, see, etc.; as, to keep one's eyes and ears open. "His ears are open unto their cry." (Ps. Xxxiv. 15)

2. Free to be used, enjoyed, visited, or the like; not private; public; unrestricted in use; as, an open library, museum, court, or other assembly; liable to the approach, trespass, or attack of any one; unprotected; exposed. "If Demetrius . . . Have a matter against any man, the law is open and there are deputies." (Acts xix. 33) "The service that I truly did his life, Hath left me open to all injuries." (Shak)

3. Free or cleared of obstruction to progress or to view; accessible; as, an open tract; the open sea.

4. Not drawn together, closed, or contracted; extended; expanded; as, an open hand; open arms; an open flower; an open prospect. "Each, with open arms, embraced her chosen knight." (Dryden)

5. Hence: Without reserve or false pretense; sincere; characterised by sincerity; unfeigned; frank; also, generous; liberal; bounteous; applied to personal appearance, or character, and to the expression of thought and feeling, etc. "With aspect open, shall erect his head." (Pope) "The Moor is of a free and open nature." (Shak) "The French are always open, familiar, and talkative." (Addison)

Not concealed or secret; not hidden or disguised; exposed to view or to knowledge; revealed; apparent; as, open schemes or plans; open shame or guilt. "His thefts are too open." (Shak) "That I may find him, and with secret gaze Or open admiration him behold." (Milton)

6. Not of a quality to prevent communication, as by closing water ways, blocking roads, etc.; hence, not frosty or inclement; mild; used of the weather or the climate; as, an open season; an open winter.

7. Not settled or adjusted; not decided or determined; not closed or withdrawn from consideration; as, an open account; an open question; to keep an offer or opportunity open.

8. Free; disengaged; unappropriated; as, to keep a day open for any purpose; to be open for an engagement.

9. Uttered with a relatively wide opening of the articulating organs; said of vowels; as, the an far is open as compared with the a in say. Uttered, as a consonant, with the oral passage simply narrowed without closure, as in uttering s.

10. Not closed or stopped with the finger; said of the string of an instrument, as of a violin, when it is allowed to vibrate throughout its whole length. Produced by an open string; as, an open tone. The open air, the air out of doors. Open chain.

<chemistry> See Closed chain, under Chain.

<physics> Open circuit, a roof of which the constructional parts, together with the under side of the covering, or its lining, are treated ornamentally, and left to form the ceiling of an apartment below, as in a church, a public hall, and the like. Open vowel or consonant. See Open.

Open is used in many compounds, most of which are self-explaining; as, open-breasted, open-minded.

Synonyms: Unclosed, uncovered, unprotected, exposed, plain, apparent, obvious, evident, public, unreserved, frank, sincere, undissembling, artless. See Candid, and Ingenuous.

Origin: AS. Open; akin to D. Open, OS. Opan, G. Offan, Icel. Opinn, Sw. Oppen, Dan. Aaben, and perh. To E. Up. Cf. Up, and Ope.

(01 Mar 1998)

op code, ope, opeidoscope, opelet, open < Prev | Next > open admission, open-angle glaucoma, openbill

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