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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Sadly, the food court, including Orange Julius, was not operational. Tim Stack, EW.com, "The Starcourt from Stranger Things 3 is an ACTUAL mall," 4 July 2019 Apple also faces notable operational challenges in a world afflicted by trade conflicts—problems that its design prowess is ill-suited to solve. Dan Gallagher, WSJ, "Apple’s Shine Goes Only So Far Now," 28 June 2019 Paris hosts the Summer Olympics in 2024, but numerous experts question whether the cathedral can be operational by then. NBC News, "No sign Notre Dame fire was criminal, Paris prosecutor says," 26 June 2019 The weather station itself was operational for a matter of months before the radio frequency jammed and the batteries died. Hannah Fry, The New Yorker, "Why Weather Forecasting Keeps Getting Better," 24 June 2019 The crew raised what seemed to be an essential problem: Only one of the three RCBs was currently operational. Megan Rose, ProPublica, "Trump Keeps Talking About the Last Military Standoff With Iran — Here’s What Really Happened," 24 June 2019 TechCrunch notes what Amazon learned from Spark and another feature called Interesting Finds (which is still operational) are being incorporated into #FoundItOnAmazon, although that feature appears to be focused mainly on home decor. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Amazon shut down Amazon Spark, its discovery shopping feature," 15 June 2019 The firms behind the effort—which include banks in America, Europe, and Japan—expect the digital currency to be operational by 2020. The Economist, "Business this week," 8 June 2019 City engineer Phil Gralik said the sanitary sewer should be operational in about a month. Karen Caffarini, Post-Tribune, "Developer says subdivision construction coming this summer in Hobart," 7 June 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of operational

1885, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for operational

operation + -al entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about operational

Statistics for operational

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for operational

The first known use of operational was in 1885

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!