[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. opera glasses,
  2. opera hat,
  3. opera house,
  4. opera seria,
  5. opera window,
  6. operagoer,
  7. operand,
  8. operant,
  9. operant conditioning,
  10. operant learning

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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for non-operable


/ (ˈɒpərəbəl, ˈɒprə-) /


capable of being treated by a surgical operation
capable of being operated
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

Medicine definitions for non-operable


[ ŏpər-ə-bəl, ŏprə- ]


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.