operant

adjective
op·​er·​ant | \ ˈä-pə-rənt How to pronounce operant (audio) \

Definition of operant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : functioning or tending to produce effects : effective an operant conscience
2 : of or relating to the observable or measurable
3 : of, relating to, or being an operant or operant conditioning operant behavior

operant

noun

Definition of operant (Entry 2 of 2)

: behavior (such as bar pressing by a rat to obtain food) that operates on the environment to produce rewarding and reinforcing effects

Other Words from operant

Adjective

operantly adverb

Examples of operant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Bradfield probably could have parlayed that success into some sort of cushy position with Burnett, but his operant mode was reinvention. Susan Orlean, The New Yorker, 18 Feb. 2022 As such, mobile games have developed into monsters psychologically tuned to rip thousands out of players vulnerable enough to be operant conditioned into a game addiction. Clem Chambers, Forbes, 8 Nov. 2021

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

First Known Use of operant

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1937, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for operant

Adjective

Middle English, borrowed from Late Latin operant-, operans, present participle of operārī "to work, be efficacious, effect, produce" — more at operate

Noun

derivative of operant entry 1

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Time Traveler for operant

Time Traveler

The first known use of operant was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near operant

operand

operant

operant conditioning

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Statistics for operant

Cite this Entry

“Operant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/operant. Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for operant

operant

adjective
op·​er·​ant | \ ˈäp-ə-rənt How to pronounce operant (audio) \

Medical Definition of operant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or being an operant or operant conditioning operant behavior — compare respondent

Other Words from operant

operantly adverb

operant

noun

Medical Definition of operant (Entry 2 of 2)

: behavior (as bar pressing by a rat to obtain food) that operates on the environment to produce rewarding and reinforcing effects

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