[op-er-uh-buh l, op-ruh-]

Origin of operable

1640–50; < Late Latin operābilis, equivalent to operā(rī) to work + -bilis -ble
Related formsop·er·a·bil·i·ty, nounop·er·a·bly, adverbnon·op·er·a·ble, adjective
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British Dictionary definitions for non-operable


  1. capable of being treated by a surgical operation
  2. capable of being operated
  3. capable of being put into practice
Derived Formsoperability, nounoperably, 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

Word Origin and History for non-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

non-operable in Medicine


[ŏpər-ə-bəl, ŏprə-]
  1. Being treatable by surgical operation with a reasonable degree of safety and chance of success.
Related formsop′er•a•bili•ty n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.