[op-er-uh-tiv, op-ruh-tiv, op-uh-rey-tiv]



Nearby words

  1. operationalism,
  2. operationalization,
  3. operationalize,
  4. operations research,
  5. operations room,
  6. operatively,
  7. operatize,
  8. operator,
  9. operator gene,
  10. operatory

Origin of operative

1590–1600; < Middle French operatif < Latin operāt(us) (see operate) + Middle French -if -ive

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

Examples from the Web for operative

British Dictionary definitions for operative



in force, effect, or operation
exerting force or influence
producing a desired effect; significantthe operative word
of or relating to a surgical procedure


a worker, esp one with a special skill
US a private detective
Derived Formsoperatively, adverboperativeness or operativity, noun

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 operative
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for operative


[ŏpər-ə-tĭv, -ə-rā′tĭv, ŏprə-]


Of, relating to, or resulting from a surgical operation.
Functioning effectively; efficient.

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