Definition of operate
1 : to perform a function : exert power or influence factors operating against our success
2 : to produce an appropriate effect the drug operated quickly
3a : to perform an operation or a series of operations The refinery is planning to begin operating as soon as possible.b : to perform surgery The surgeon has been operating all morning.c : to carry on a military or naval action or mission The army will operate in conjunction with the air force.
4 : to follow a course of conduct that is often irregular crooked gamblers operating in the club
2a : to cause to function : work operate an automobileb : to put or keep in operation operated a grocery store
3 : to perform an operation on; especially : to perform surgery —usually used with on operate on a patient operating on a brain tumor
Examples of operate in a sentence
They hope to have the windmill operating again tomorrow.
The camera also operates underwater.
The machine can operate at high speeds.
instructions for operating the new microwave oven
a license to operate a motor vehicle
The café is owned and operated by a young couple.
The organization operates a recycling program.
It's the only casino operating in the state.
The company operates from Chicago.
a militant group operating against the government
Origin and Etymology of operate
Latin operatus, past participle of operari to work, from oper-, opus work; akin to Old English efnan to perform, Sanskrit apas work
First Known Use: 1588
OPERATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of operate for English Language Learners
: to function or behave in a proper or particular way
: to use and control (something)
: to have control of (something, such as a business, department, program, etc.)
OPERATE Defined for Kids
Definition of operate for Students
1 : to work or cause to work in a proper or particular way The machine is operating smoothly. He will learn to operate a car.
2 : manage 1 They operate a farm.
3 : to perform surgery : do an operation on The doctors operated on the patient.
Medical Definition of operate
intransitive verb: to perform surgery
transitive verb: to perform surgery on operated the growth
Seen and Heard
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