inoperative

adjective

in·​op·​er·​a·​tive (ˌ)in-ˈä-p(ə-)rə-tiv How to pronounce inoperative (audio)
-ˈä-pə-ˌrā-
: not operative: such as
a
: not functioning
an inoperative clock
b
: having no effect or force
an inoperative law
inoperativeness noun

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Example Sentences

The accident had rendered the vehicle inoperative. With the new federal law in place, the state law has become inoperative.
Recent Examples on the Web The windshield wiper motor may become inoperative, causing the wipers to fail. Detroit Free Press, 2 Sep. 2022 The windshield wiper motor may become inoperative, causing the wipers to fail. Detroit Free Press, 26 Aug. 2022 The windshield wiper motor may become inoperative, causing the wipers to fail. USA TODAY, 25 Aug. 2022 The backup light switch may corrode and become inoperative, which can result in the backup lights not illuminating and the rearview camera image not displaying when the vehicle is in reverse. USA TODAY, 5 Aug. 2022 Based on the variety of analytical tools used to evaluate the performance of these motors in the field, reports of inoperative motors are expected to continue. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 17 Mar. 2022 By December, the InSight team expects the lander to have become inoperative. Julia Musto, Fox News, 18 May 2022 The wood is peeling, the leather is cracked, power antenna, air horns, and radio are inoperative, and the power windows work only intermittently. Elana Scherr, Car and Driver, 20 Apr. 2022 One of the Mac Studio's two SSD slots is inoperative in some configurations because of a missing SSD controller. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, 22 Mar. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'inoperative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1631, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of inoperative was circa 1631

Dictionary Entries Near inoperative

Cite this Entry

“Inoperative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/inoperative. Accessed 25 Sep. 2022.

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Legal Definition

inoperative

adjective

in·​op·​er·​a·​tive i-ˈnä-pə-rə-tiv How to pronounce inoperative (audio)
: having no force or effect
an inoperative will

More from Merriam-Webster on inoperative

Last Updated: 14 Sep 2022

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