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
Recent Examples of operate from the Web
European businesses remain disappointed with China’s efforts to level the playing field for companies operating in the nation, the EU’s second-largest trading partner, a survey by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China showed on Wednesday.
Authorities say the Ypsilanti Fire Department truck had its emergency lights operating at the time.
But U.S. troops are now stationed at a number of bases in the Mosul area and the Pentagon has acknowledged that hundreds of U.S. soldiers operate inside Mosul backing Iraqi ground troops in the fight.
Spirit’s operating margins are among the highest in the industry, topping 20 percent in 2015 and 2016.
In Vernon Hills, hospitals are not permitted to operate in business park districts.
Chris Landgrave, chief operating officer for the Lake County Parks Department, said the Kraken cost about $2.5 million.
Online public charter schools are not authorized to operate in Alabama.
If the program is successful, DARPA predicts the XS-1 could operate with costs under $5 million per launch.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'operate'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
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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