operation

noun
op·​er·​a·​tion | \ ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce operation (audio) \

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 drug
b : 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
3 : efficacy, potency archaic except in legal usage
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 invasion
b operations plural : the office on the flight line of an airfield where pilots file clearance for flights and where flying from the field is controlled
c 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 program entry 1 sense 6a)
9 : a usually small business or establishment ran a struggling operation

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Examples of operation in a Sentence

The family runs a small farming operation. The company is a billion-dollar operation.

Recent Examples on the Web

The team at the space operations center watched for the next few days as that seeming piece of space debris... Jim Sciutto, WSJ, "A Vulnerable U.S. Really Does Need a Space Force," 10 May 2019 Eric Blievernicht, the missionary group’s operations manager, said in an email Saturday that the three carried Gospel tracts and MP3 players with Scripture and other Christian material to share with villagers. Grant Peck, The Seattle Times, "Evangelical group says 3 US volunteers detained in Laos," 13 Apr. 2019 There’s an official protocol for the disposal of unused drugs at the end of an operation. Kayla Webley Adler, Marie Claire, "I Was One Of The Top Doctors In My Field. I Was Also An Opioid Addict.," 25 Feb. 2019 There are at least 158 private companies like Ikea, Allianz, and Apple aiming to power their operations with just renewable energy. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Climate and energy news in 2018 actually wasn’t all bad," 1 Jan. 2019 There are five makeshift shelters in operation tonight within Puebla. Liliana Frankel, Teen Vogue, "A Day in the Life of the Migrant Caravan," 16 Nov. 2018 The tender offer was extended to correlate with the timing of remaining regulatory approval in Russia, where Coty has operations, the companies said. ... Aisha Al-muslim, WSJ, "Investor Extends Offer to Boost Stake in CoverGirl Maker," 19 Apr. 2019 Alyssa Mastromonaco was White House deputy chief of staff for operations from 2011 to 2014 and is a contributing editor to Marie Claire. Alyssa Mastromonaco, Marie Claire, "Alyssa Mastromonaco Explores Her Non-Decision to Not Have Kids," 5 Mar. 2019 And after raising $10 million to expand its operations, the young startup has established a sprawling new flagship center on Fifth Avenue. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Inside the New York Wellness Space That Could Be the Future of Primary Care," 30 Jan. 2019

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.

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First Known Use of operation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for operation

Middle English operacion "work, action, procedure performed on a body, functioning," borrowed from Medieval Latin operātiōn-, operātiō, going back to Latin, "application of effort, functioning (of natural forces)," from operārī "to busy oneself, be at work" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns — more at operate

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Statistics for operation

Last Updated

15 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for operation

The first known use of operation was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for operation

operation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of operation

: 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

noun
op·​er·​a·​tion | \ ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce operation (audio) \

Kids Definition of operation

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

operation

noun
op·​er·​a·​tion | \ ˌäp-ə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce operation (audio) \

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

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