operator

[op-uh-rey-ter]
noun
1.
a person who operates a machine, apparatus, or the like: a telegraph operator.
2.
a person who operates a telephone switchboard, especially for a telephone company.
3.
a person who manages a working or industrial establishment, enterprise, or system: the operators of a mine.
4.
a person who trades in securities, especially speculatively or on a large scale.
5.
a person who performs a surgical operation; a surgeon.
6.
Mathematics.
a.
a symbol for expressing a mathematical operation.
b.
a function, especially one transforming a function, set, etc., into another: a differential operator.
7.
Informal.
a.
a person who accomplishes his or her purposes by devious means; faker; fraud.
b.
a person who is adroit at overcoming, avoiding, or evading difficulties, regulations, or restrictions.
c.
a person who is extremely successful with or smoothly persuasive to members of the opposite sex.
8.
Genetics. a segment of DNA that interacts with a regulatory molecule, preventing transcription of the adjacent region.

Origin:
1590–1600; < Late Latin, equivalent to operā() to work, effect (see operate) + Latin -tor -tor

preoperator, noun
self-operator, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
operator (ˈɒpəˌreɪtə)
 
n
1.  a person who operates a machine, instrument, etc, esp, a person who makes connections on a telephone switchboard or at an exchange
2.  a person who owns or operates an industrial or commercial establishment
3.  a speculator, esp one who operates on currency or stock markets
4.  informal a person who manipulates affairs and other people
5.  maths any symbol, term, letter, etc, used to indicate or express a specific operation or process, such as Δ (the differential operator)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

operator
1590s, "one who performs mechanical or surgical operations," agent noun from operate (q.v.). Meaning "one who carries on business shrewdly" is from 1828. Specific sense of "one who works a telephone switchboard" (1884) grew out of earlier meaning "one who works a telegraph" (1847).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

operator op·er·a·tor (ŏp'ə-rā'tər)
n.
An operator gene.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
operator   (ŏp'ə-rā'tər)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. Mathematics A function, especially one from a set to itself, such as differentiation of a differentiable function or rotation of a vector. In quantum mechanics, measurable quantities of a physical system, such as position and momentum, are related to unique operators applied to the wave equation describing the system.

  2. A logical operator.

  3. Genetics A segment of chromosomal DNA that regulates the activity of the structural genes of an operon by interacting with a specific repressor.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for operators
Such operators have a welldefined borel functional calculus.
Principal operators are first great western and crosscountry.
In technical language, integral calculus studies two related linear operators.
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