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[op-er-uh-buh l, op-ruh-] /ˈɒp ər ə bəl, ˈɒp rə-/
that can be treated by a surgical operation.
Compare inoperable (def 2).
capable of being put into use, operation, or practice.
Origin of operable
1640-50; < Late Latin operābilis, equivalent to operā() to work + -bilis -ble
Related forms
operability, noun
operably, adverb
nonoperable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for operable
  • Even with manufactured goods the logic isn't always operable.
  • Windows will be tested to ensure that they are operable, meaning that no undue pressure is being exerted against the frames.
  • Six tricycles are known to still exist, but none are operable.
  • It has proved to be a fast and significantly less-intrusive way to identify operable cancers.
British Dictionary definitions for operable


/ˈɒpərəbəl; ˈɒprə-/
capable of being treated by a surgical operation
capable of being operated
capable of being put into practice
Derived Forms
operability, noun
operably, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for operable

1640s, "practicable," from operate + -able, or else from Late Latin operabilis. Surgical sense, "capable of treatment by operation," recorded by 1904. Related: Operability.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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operable in Medicine

operable op·er·a·ble (ŏp'ər-ə-bəl, ŏp'rə-)
Being treatable by surgical operation with a reasonable degree of safety and chance of success.

op'er·a·bil'i·ty n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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