[ op-er-uh-tiv, op-ruh-tiv, op-uh-rey-tiv ]
/ ˈɒp ər ə tɪv, ˈɒp rə tɪv, ˈɒp əˌreɪ tɪv /



Origin of operative

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

SYNONYMS FOR operative

Related forms

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

Examples from the Web for operatively

  • In willing actively and operatively to be that which he was made in order to be, he becomes creative—so far as a man may.

    There and Back|George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for operatively


/ (ˈɒpərətɪv) /


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 Forms

operatively, 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

Medicine definitions for operatively


[ 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.