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

Reports of an impending police dispersal operation prompted some to walk away by foot. Time Staff, Time, "Protesters Storm Hong Kong International Airport and Disrupt Transport Links," 1 Sep. 2019 Ashley Davis, state Emergency Response Team operations chief, told emergency officials during the briefing. Gray Rohrer, orlandosentinel.com, "Hurricane Dorian still dangerous despite new track, DeSantis says," 31 Aug. 2019 The strain between protecting and developing the Amazon, which encompasses vast rainforests as well as mid-size cities, farms and logging operations, will surely intensify even after this year’s fires subside. Washington Post, "Protect or develop? Amazon fires signal growing pressure," 31 Aug. 2019 In 2017, Trump ordered 4,000 additional troops be sent to Afghanistan to help Afghan forces and conduct counterterrorism operations against the ISIS terror network’s Afghan affiliate and other extremist groups, including Al Qaeda. Fox News, "Green Beret from Idaho ID'd as 3rd US soldier killed in Afghanistan in under two weeks," 31 Aug. 2019 That goal may not be shared by the Trump White House, which this week announced plans to curtail methane regulations on US oil and gas operations. Wired, "The EPA Says Methane Rules Are Bad for Industry—It's Wrong," 30 Aug. 2019 The United Airlines program gives that power to a computer, allowing only supervisors from United operation centers the authority to override the decision. Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times, "United Airlines’ new technology aims to cut down on missed connections," 30 Aug. 2019 The spokesperson pointed to Twitter’s broader efforts that include publishing an archive of foreign information operations seen on its platform. Bill Lambrecht, ExpressNews.com, "Advocates push Census Bureau to prepare for security breaches, disinformation ahead of 2020 count," 30 Aug. 2019 Methane, the main component of natural gas, frequently leaks or is intentionally released during drilling operations. Cathy Bussewitz, The Denver Post, "EPA moves to revoke rules on oil industry methane leaks," 29 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for operation

Last Updated

4 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for operation

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

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More Definitions for operation

operation

noun

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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