wide open


opened to the full extent: a wide-open window.
lacking laws or strict enforcement of laws concerning liquor, vice, gambling, etc.: a wide-open town.


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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  open to the full extent
2.  (postpositive) exposed to attack; vulnerable
3.  uncertain as to outcome
4.  informal (US) (of a town or city) lax in the enforcement of certain laws, esp those relating to the sale and consumption of alcohol, gambling, the control of vice, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

wide open

  1. Unresolved, unsettled, as in The fate of that former colony is still wide open. [Mid-1900s]

  2. Unprotected or vulnerable, as in That remark about immigrants left him wide open to hostile criticism. This expression originated in boxing, where it signifies being off one's guard and open to an opponent's punches. It began to be used more broadly about 1940. Also see leave open.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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