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

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office will receive a total of $73.8 million in the 2020 budget, including both operational and capital uses- a $4 million increase from last year. Ivana Hrynkiw, al, "Jefferson County passes $700 million budget: Here’s where the money goes," 8 Aug. 2019 Harper can be seen sometimes at the park making sure everything is operational and clean. Kaila Contreras, Houston Chronicle, "Residents enjoy renovations at Kingwood’s Dylan Duncan Memorial Skate Park," 19 July 2019 European officials confirmed at Friday’s meeting that a trade mechanism, known as Instex, was now operational and was starting to process its first few transactions. Laurence Norman, WSJ, "Iran Leaves Door Open to Pause in Its Nuclear Escalation as Europe Gears up Trade Mechanism," 28 June 2019 Since 2012, when all 10 gaming licenses finally had been operational for a full year, Illinois casinos’ annual gross receipts have dropped from $1.63 billion to $1.37 billion. Kristen Mcqueary, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Let’s cut to the chase: A Chicago casino must be near downtown," 29 July 2019 More than 300 high-definition cameras to spot wildfires are operational, according to the company. Los Angeles Times, "California utilities agree to pay $10.5 billion into new wildfire fund," 25 July 2019 The company expects the plant to be operational in the first quarter of 2020, and so far has filled about 20 positions, company spokesman Scott Worden said. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com, "Mike Pence scheduled for second visit to Ohio next week," 25 July 2019 Ørsted plans to begin construction by 2021 for Skipjack to be operational by 2022. Wilborn P. Nobles Iii, baltimoresun.com, "Tradepoint Atlantic chosen as Maryland’s first staging area for offshore wind energy," 23 July 2019 The first of them will be operational by March 2020. William Thornton | Wthornton@al.com, al.com, "2A expanding Auburn foundry, to hire 50," 23 July 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

22 Aug 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).


not constant or steady

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!