open system

noun Thermodynamics.
a region separated from its surroundings by a boundary that admits a transfer of matter or energy across it.
Compare closed system.

1935–40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
open system
computing an operating system that is not specific to a particular supplier, but conforms to more widely compatible standards

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  open system
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a changeable and alterable set of doctrines, ideas, or things; a system that is affected by outside influences's 21st Century Lexicon
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
open system  
A physical system that interacts with other systems. The physical description of an open system can appear to violate conservation laws; for example, in a good description of the mechanism of energy transfer in a car engine (gears, driveshaft, and so on), energy will appear to be lost from the system over time, despite the law of conservation of energy. This is because the system is open, losing energy (in the form of heat) to surrounding systems (through friction). A system that loses energy in this way also called a dissipative system. Compare closed system.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Apple favors the pristine orderliness of autocracy to the messy freedom of an
  open system.
Comparison with a largely open system with easy social mobility is misleading.
Unlike the closed circulatory system found in vertebrates, insects have an open
  system lacking arteries and veins.
In other words: entropy exists only in the particular energy-potential of a
  particular element of an open system.
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