operation

noun
op·​er·​a·​tion | \ ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shən \

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

Another major downside: The aforementioned hours of operation. Good Housekeeping, "What Is Noom? Here's What a Nutritionist Really Thinks About the Trendy Weight-Loss App," 29 Jan. 2019 So there’s definitely a lot of complexity in terms of the operation, and people matter, right? Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Sweetgreen thinks like a tech company," 17 Dec. 2018 His stubbornness causes both problems within the operation and his own family. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "'Blue Bloods' Hints at Fight That Could Tear Brothers Danny and Jamie Reagan Apart," 1 Feb. 2019 In some cases, though, like a vein issue requiring surgical correction, the risk of nerve damage or hearing loss from the operation is too high, Dr. Georgopoulos says. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Is Tinnitus?," 30 Jan. 2019 Today, a train controller at its Perth operations center sets the route, then computers both at the center and on-board take over to make decisions. Rhiannon Hoyle, WSJ, "American Railways Chug Toward Automation," 19 Jan. 2019 Go under cover in the Garogoyle Gang in order to help take Hiram's drug operation down. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, ""Riverdale" Midseason Premiere's Most Shocking Moments," 17 Jan. 2019 Then around the time of the flyby at 12:33AM ET on January 1st, there will be some celebrations in the missions operations center to honor the event. Loren Grush, The Verge, "How to watch as NASA sends a spacecraft past a rock at the edge of the Solar System," 30 Dec. 2018 Thompson and Hemsworth play agents of the Men in Black's international operations, working alongside Emma Thompson and Liam Neeson to monitor and police alien activity on Earth. Ana Colón, Glamour, "You Need to Watch the New Men in Black International Trailer Just for Tessa Thompson's Suits," 20 Dec. 2018

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

20 Feb 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 \

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 \

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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