verb (used without object)
to work, perform, or function, as a machine does:
This engine does not operate properly.
to work or use a machine, apparatus, or the like.
to act effectively; produce an effect; exert force or influence (often followed by on
Their propaganda is beginning to operate on the minds of the people.
to perform some process of work or treatment.
Surgery. to perform a surgical procedure.
(of a drug) to produce the effect intended.
to carry on operations in war.
to give orders and accomplish military acts, as distinguished from doing staff work.
to carry on transactions in securities, or some commodity, especially speculatively or on a large scale.
to use devious means for one's own gain; insinuate oneself; finagle:
a man who knows how to operate with the ladies.
< Late Latin operātus,
past participle of operārī, -āre
to work, be efficacious, effect, produce, Latin:
to busy oneself, verbal derivative of opera
effort, work, akin to opus
work; see -ate1
operatable, adjectivepreoperate, verb (used without object), preoperated, preoperating.reoperate, verb (used with object), reoperated, reoperating.unoperatable, adjectiveunoperated, adjectivewell-operated, adjective