verb (used without object), op·er·at·ed, op·er·at·ing.

verb (used with object), op·er·at·ed, op·er·at·ing.

Origin of operate

1600–10; < 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
Related formsop·er·at·a·ble, adjectivepre·op·er·ate, verb (used without object), pre·op·er·at·ed, pre·op·er·at·ing.re·op·er·ate, verb (used with object), re·op·er·at·ed, re·op·er·at·ing.un·op·er·at·a·ble, adjectiveun·op·er·at·ed, adjectivewell-op·er·at·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for operated

Contemporary Examples of operated

Historical Examples of operated

  • New-Haven enjoys an elephant that has corns, and is about to be operated on by a chiropodist.

  • Not far from his grandmother's residence there was a windmill which operated on a new plan.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • This man said I must be operated on by a burning process, all of which was said to frighten me to duty.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • It is operated by pressing the keys of the machine and the spirits of the audience.

  • From Hanover he removed to Pittsburgh, where he operated in provisions until 1845.

British Dictionary definitions for operated



to function or cause to function
(tr) to control the functioning ofoperate a machine
to manage, direct, run, or pursue (a business, system, etc)
(intr) to perform a surgical operation (upon a person or animal)
(intr) to produce a desired or intended effect
(tr usually foll by on) to treat or process in a particular or specific way
(intr) to conduct military or naval operations
(intr) to deal in securities on a stock exchange

Word Origin for operate

C17: from Latin operāri to work
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 operated



c.1600, "to be in effect," back-formation from operation, or else from Latin operatus, past participle of operari "to work, labor, toil, take pains" (in Late Latin "to have effect, be active, cause"). Surgical sense is first attested 1799. Meaning "to work machinery" is from 1864 in American English. Related: Operated; operating. Operating system in the computer sense is from 1961.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

operated in Medicine




To perform surgery.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.