1

operative

play
adjective op·er·a·tive \ ˈä-p(ə-)rə-tiv , ˈä-pə-ˌrā- \
Updated on: 11 Sep 2017

Definition of operative

1 a :producing an appropriate effect :efficacious
  • operative techniques
b :most significant or essential
  • the operative word in a phrase
  • the operative facts
2 :exerting force or influence :operating
  • an operative statute
3 a :having to do with physical operations (as of machines)
  • operative skills
b :working
  • an operative craftsman
4 :based on or consisting of an operation
  • operative dentistry
  • The disease may require operative treatment.

operatively

adverb

operativeness

noun

Examples of operative in a Sentence

  1. The factory must pass inspection before it becomes operative.

  2. The telephone system is now fully operative.

  3. If I go, I will bring a salad. If, however, is the operative word, since I am not sure that I can go.

Recent Examples of operative from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'operative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of operative

Middle English operatif "active, working," borrowed from Late Latin operātīvus, from operātus, past participle of operārī "to work, be efficacious" + Latin -īvus -ive — more at operate


2

operative

noun

Definition of operative

:operator: such as
b :a secret agent
d :a person who works toward achieving the objectives of a larger interest
  • political operatives

Examples of operative in a Sentence

  1. CIA operatives take terrible risks to find out the secrets of foreign countries.

  2. set in the 1930s, the novel is about a washed-out operative working for a third-rate detective agency

Recent Examples of operative from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'operative.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of operative

derivative of 1operative


OPERATIVE Defined for English Language Learners

operative

play
adjective

Definition of operative for English Language Learners

  • : ready for use : capable of being used

  • : most important


operative

noun

Definition of operative for English Language Learners

  • : a person who does secret work for a government or political organization

  • : a person who does work that involves using tools, operating machinery, etc.


Medical Dictionary

operative

play
adjective op·er·a·tive \ ˈäp-(ə-)rət-iv , ˈäp-ə-ˌrāt- \

medical Definition of operative

:of, relating to, involving, or resulting from an operation
  • operative treatment
  • operative mortality rates


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