1. able to function or be used; functional: How soon will the new factory be operational?
  2. Military.
    1. of, relating to, or involved in military operations.
    2. on active service or combat duty: All units of the command are operational.
  3. of or relating to operations or an operation.

Origin of operational

First recorded in 1920–25; operation + -al1
Related formsop·er·a·tion·al·ly, adverbnon·op·er·a·tion·al, adjectivepre·op·er·a·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for nonoperational


  1. not in working order or ready to use


  1. of or relating to an operation or operations
  2. in working order and ready for use
  3. military capable of, needed in, or actually involved in operations
Derived Formsoperationally, 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 nonoperational



1922, "pertaining to operation," from operation + -al (1). Meaning "in a state of functionality" is from 1944.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper