operation

noun op·er·a·tion \ ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shən \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

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.
2 a :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.
6 a :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 1program 6a)
9 :a usually small business or establishment
  • ran a struggling operation

Examples of operation in a Sentence

  1. The family runs a small farming operation.

  2. The company is a billion-dollar operation.

Recent Examples of operation from the Web

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 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



OPERATION Defined for English Language Learners

operation

noun

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

operation

noun op·er·a·tion \ ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shən \

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 Dictionary

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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