operation

noun
op·​er·​a·​tion | \ ˌä-pə-ˈrā-shən How to pronounce operation (audio) \

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 The singer refused to oblige the authorities and a sting operation ensued. Taiia Smart Young, Essence, "Lee Daniels’s Billie Holiday Movie Was Scooped Up in An 8-Figure Deal," 2 July 2020 McDonald’s will remain a to-go operation for the foreseeable future. cleveland, "McDonald’s pushes pause on reopening dining rooms," 2 July 2020 Cities including New York and Baltimore have experienced similar surges, which have fueled a deluge of online conspiracy theories alleging that there is a secret government operation behind the nationwide increase in fireworks. Emily Davies, Washington Post, "Unprecedented fireworks boom spreads across D.C. ahead of July 4," 2 July 2020 During the sterilization procedure, Han Chinese doctors injected her with anesthesia and tied her fallopian tubes — a permanent operation. Bloomberg.com, "China Cuts Uighur Births With IUDs, Abortion, Sterilization," 1 July 2020 People in nearby Tajrish Bazaar rushed to the scene, impeding a rescue operation, authorities said. Fox News, "Tehran medical clinic explosion kills at least 13, state media report," 30 June 2020 Many figure that if the prices are now about the same, why not go with pork or beef that’s more responsibly sourced and raised and that helps support a local operation. Express-news Staff, ExpressNews.com, "Timeline of coronavirus in San Antonio: May and June," 30 June 2020 An American woman rescued in a U.S. military operation in Honduras several months was not Natalee Holloway, according to her family. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Natalee Holloway’s father: Honduras rescue reports are fake," 30 June 2020 Fossil Group is cutting 10% of its corporate staff, the latest example of a retail business reopening as a smaller operation while the U.S. jobs recovery depends on all industries bouncing back. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Fossil is the latest retailer to shrink corporate staffs to match smaller operations," 29 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for operation

Time Traveler

The first known use of operation was in the 14th century

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Statistics for operation

Last Updated

7 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Operation.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/operation. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for operation

operation

noun
How to pronounce operation (audio)

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 How to pronounce operation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce operation (audio) \

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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