op·​er·​a·​tion·​al | \ ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shnəl How to pronounce operational (audio) , -shə-nᵊl\

Definition of operational

1 : of or relating to operation or to an operation the operational gap between planning and production
2 : of, relating to, or based on operations
3a : of, engaged in, or connected with execution of military or naval operations in campaign or battle
b : ready for or in condition to undertake a destined function

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Other Words from operational

operationally adverb

Examples of operational in a Sentence

The new airport should be fully operational by next year. The computer network is now operational.

Recent Examples on the Web

Post offices will remain operational and mail delivery will continue. Li Zhou, Vox, "What’s open — and closed — during a partial government shutdown," 21 Dec. 2018 On Thursday, prices of both jumped when Hinman all but declared that Ethereum is not a security: The network on which Bitcoin functions is operational and appears to have been decentralized for some time, perhaps from inception. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "The SEC's Big Cryptocurrency Speech: 5 Things to Know," 15 June 2018 The new regulator is expected to be operational in 2020 and will be a statutory body that sets high standards of statutory audit, corporate reporting and governance, U.K. Business Secretary Greg Clark said in March. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "U.K. Watchdog to Review Conduct, Governance at KPMG Audit Unit," 1 Apr. 2019 For now and some time to come, the twin aims will be to keep improving operational efficiency and avoid disaster. The Economist, "Make Bank of America great again," 3 May 2018 The Idaho Central Credit Union said its ATMs stopped working Thursday, but were operational Friday. Sarah Krouse, WSJ, "FCC Probes Nationwide CenturyLink Outage, Cites 911 Service Disruption," 28 Dec. 2018 One project is linked to noise-level concerns some residents have expressed over the past year when the Next Generation Air Transportation System, better known as NextGen, became operational at Hollywood Burbank. Anthony Clark Carpio, latimes.com, "Hollywood Burbank Airport plays it safe with next fiscal year budget," 20 June 2018 These services are expensive to build, test, and harden in real-world conditions, but once operational, are relatively inexpensive to scale to more games and more users. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Epic opens Fortnite’s cross-platform services for free to other devs," 12 Dec. 2018 At present, 30 of these ventures are operational, and La Cocina’s efforts mirror, in a sense, what Dillon is trying to do at The Wing. Noor Brara, Vogue, "How The Wing's New San Francisco Outpost Is Showcasing the Bay Area's Diverse Culinary Talent," 9 Oct. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'operational.' 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 operational

1885, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for operational

operation + -al entry 1

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Statistics for operational

Last Updated

2 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for operational

The first known use of operational was in 1885

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More Definitions for operational



English Language Learners Definition of operational

: ready for use : able to be used
: of or relating to the operation of a business or machine


op·​er·​a·​tion·​al | \ ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce operational (audio) \

Kids Definition of operational

: ready for use The new airport is now operational.


op·​er·​a·​tion·​al | \ ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shə-nəl How to pronounce operational (audio) \

Legal Definition of operational

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Comments on operational

What made you want to look up operational? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to mark by some ceremony or observation

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