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From Middle High German offenen, from Old High German offanōn, from Proto-West Germanic *opanōn, from Proto-Germanic *upanōną. Compare Dutch openen and English open.


  • IPA(key): /ˈʔœfnən/
  • Hyphenation: öff‧nen
  • (Germany)
  • (Germany)
  • (Austria)


öffnen (weak, third-person singular present öffnet, past tense öffnete, past participle geöffnet, auxiliary haben)

  1. (transitive) to open (to make something accessible or allow for passage by moving from a shut position)
    Das Kind öffnete die Fenster.The child opened the windows.
  2. (transitive) to open (to make accessible to customers or clients)
  3. (transitive, computing) to open (to load into memory for viewing or editing)
  4. (intransitive) to open, get, or answer the door
  5. (reflexive) to open (to become open)
  6. (reflexive) to open up (to), confide (in) (to reveal oneself; share personal information about oneself)

Usage notes[edit]

While öffnen isn't explicitly formal, it is fairly infrequent in everyday spoken language, typically replaced by the colloquial aufmachen.




Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • öffnen” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
  • öffnen” in Uni Leipzig: Wortschatz-Lexikon
  • öffnen” in Duden online
  • öffnen” in OpenThesaurus.de