The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.
1 : exposed to general view or knowledge
: free from concealment [an , notorious, continuous, and adverse use of the property] [an and obvious danger] NOTE: When a defect, hazard, or condition is open such that a reasonable person under the circumstances should have recognized the danger posed by it, a defendant is usually relieved of liability for failure to warn.
2 : not restricted to a particular group or category of participants
: enterable by a registered voter regardless of political affiliation [an primary]
3 a : being in effect or operation [an mine] [a bench warrant still ]
b : available for use [an toll road]
c : not finally determined, decided, or settled
: subject to further consideration [an question]
d : remaining effective or available for use until canceled [an insurance contract]
4 : not repressed or regulated by legal controls [a state with gambling]
1 : to begin the process of [ the succession]
2 a : to make the statement by which the trial of (a case) is begun and put before the court
b : to be the first to speak in summing up or arguing (a case)
3 : to restore or recall (as an order, rule, or judgment) from a finally determined state to a state in which the parties are free to prosecute or oppose by further proceedings
1 : to begin action
: commence on some course or activity [the stock ed at par]
2 : to begin the trial of a case [defendant…has the option of presenting an opening statement immediately after plaintiff s "J. H. Friedenthal et al."]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.