Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

operative

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of operative

  1. 1 being in effective operation <the last operative bookbinder of its kind in the business> Synonyms alive, functional, functioning, going, live, living, on, operating, operational, active, running, workingRelated Words effective, effectual; employable, operable, usable (also useable), viable, workable; performing, producing, productive, serving, useful, yielding; astir, bustling, busy, dynamic, flourishing, humming, roaring, thrivingNear Antonyms deactivated, decommissioned; ineffective, ineffectual, useless; inoperable, unusable, unworkable; arrested, asleep, dormant, fallow, idle, inert, latent, lifeless, nonproductive, quiescent, sleepy, stagnating, unproductive, vegetatingAntonyms broken, dead, inactive, inoperative, kaput (also kaputt), nonactivated, nonfunctional, nonfunctioning, nonoperating, nonoperational, nonoperative

  2. 2 producing or capable of producing a desired result <unfortunately, the operative amount of the medication and the lethal amount were too close for it to be used safely> Synonyms effectual, efficacious, efficient, fruitful, effective, potent, productiveRelated Words hyperefficient, ultraefficient; adequate, capable, competent; accomplished, adept, consummate, experienced, expert, masterly, practiced (also practised), proficient, skilled, skillful, versed, veteran, virtuoso; cogent, convincing, killer, sound, striking, telling, valid; active, dynamic; useful, working; applicable, feasible, functional, practicable, practical, realizable, usable (also useable), workableNear Antonyms counterproductive; incapable, incompetent, inexperienced, inexpert, unqualified, unseasoned, unskilled, unskillful; abortive, bootless, futile, vain; empty, hollow, idle, pointless, unavailing, unprofitable, unsuccessful; inoperative, worthlessAntonyms fruitless, ineffective, ineffectual, inefficient, inoperative, unfruitful, unproductive, useless




operative

noun

Synonyms and Antonyms of operative

  1. 1 a person who tries secretly to obtain information for one country in the territory of another usually unfriendly country <CIA operatives take terrible risks to find out the secrets of foreign countries> Synonyms agent, asset, emissary, intelligencer, mole, spy, spook, undercoverRelated Words courier; counterspy, double agent, sleeper; infiltrator, informer, stool pigeon; spymaster, superspy

  2. 2 a person not on the police force who investigates criminal or illicit activity or searches for missing persons <set in the 1930s, the novel is about a washed-out operative working for a third-rate detective agency> Synonyms dick, gumshoe, hawkshaw, investigator, detective, private detective, private eye, private investigator, shamus [slang], sherlock, sleuth, sleuthhoundRelated Words shadow, tail, tracer, tracker; fed, Federal, G-man, narc (or nark) [slang], plainclothesman





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up operative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

marked by propriety and good taste

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image567572573

Which of these is a synonym of unctuous?

oily maudlin angry prompt
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ