Definition of operation
1 : performance of a practical work or of something involving the practical application of principles or processes Practice until you can go through the whole operation without hesitation or thinking.
2a : an exertion of power or influence the operation of a drugb : the quality or state of being functional or operative The plant is now in operation.c : a method or manner of functioning a machine of very simple operation
4 : a procedure performed on a living body usually with instruments especially for the repair of damage or defect or the restoration of health needed an operation to remove his appendix
5 : any of various mathematical or logical processes (such as addition) of deriving one entity from others according to a rule Multiplication is one mathematical operation.
6a : a usually military action, mission, or maneuver including its planning and execution military operations for a large-scale invasionb operations plural : the office on the flight line of an airfield where pilots file clearance for flights and where flying from the field is controlledc operations plural : the agency of an organization charged with carrying on the principal planning and operating functions of a headquarters and its subordinate units
7 : a business transaction especially when speculative continued his operations in cotton futures
8 : a single step performed by a computer in the execution of a program (see 1program 6b)
Examples of operation in a Sentence
The family runs a small farming operation.
The company is a billion-dollar operation.
Recent Examples of operation from the Web
The United States now has more than 8,000 troops in Afghanistan, training local forces and conducting counterterrorism operations.
The union’s 1,500 members at Argentina’s biggest gold mine, plus another 1,000 workers, went on strike for about 35 hours through 11 a.m. Monday, paralyzing operations, Laplace said.
The Intercept is publishing a first set of TigerSwan’s situation reports from September 2016, which describe the company’s initial operations.
The Sierra Club called Friday for Anadarko to shutter all of its operations while state and federal authorities conduct a comprehensive review.
Irkut has long had a successful military plane operation but has wanted to expand its market.
Britain was less open to having its operations covered, and the French were the strictest censors of all.
ALEA officials are not releasing additional details about the drug operation, but said the case is now closed.
Looked at, whole and complete, the entire operation now looks like a coherent and lawless enterprise.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'operation'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of operation
Middle English operacioun, from Middle French operation, from Latin operation-, operatio, from operari
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
OPERATION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of operation for English Language Learners
: a process in which a doctor cuts into someone's body in order to repair or remove a damaged or diseased part
: a usually small business or organization
: an activity of a business or organization
OPERATION Defined for Kids
Definition of operation for Students
1 : a set of actions for a particular purpose a rescue operation
2 : a medical procedure that involves cutting into a living body in order to repair or remove a damaged or diseased part I need an operation to remove my appendix.
3 : the process of putting military forces into action naval operations
4 : the state of working or being able to work The factory is now in operation.
5 : a method or manner of working The camera is designed for easy operation.
6 : a process (as addition or multiplication) of getting one mathematical expression from others according to a rule
7 : a single step performed by a computer in carrying out a program
Medical Definition of operation
: a procedure performed on a living body usually with instruments for the repair of damage or the restoration of health and especially one that involves incision, excision, or suturing
Learn More about operation
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