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operator

[op-uh-rey-ter]
See more synonyms for operator on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. a person who operates a machine, apparatus, or the like: a telegraph operator.
  2. a person who operates a telephone switchboard, especially for a telephone company.
  3. a person who manages a working or industrial establishment, enterprise, or system: the operators of a mine.
  4. a person who trades in securities, especially speculatively or on a large scale.
  5. a person who performs a surgical operation; a surgeon.
  6. Mathematics.
    1. a symbol for expressing a mathematical operation.
    2. a function, especially one transforming a function, set, etc., into another: a differential operator.
  7. Informal.
    1. a person who accomplishes his or her purposes by devious means; faker; fraud.
    2. a person who is adroit at overcoming, avoiding, or evading difficulties, regulations, or restrictions.
    3. a person who is extremely successful with or smoothly persuasive to members of the opposite sex.
  8. Genetics. a segment of DNA that interacts with a regulatory molecule, preventing transcription of the adjacent region.
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Origin of operator

1590–1600; < Late Latin, equivalent to operā(rī) to work, effect (see operate) + Latin -tor -tor
Related formspre·op·er·a·tor, nounself-op·er·a·tor, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for operator

driver, engineer, administrator, executive, supervisor, speculator, manager, dealer, agent, broker, operative, director, fraud, scoundrel, hustler, conductor, operant

Examples from the Web for operator

Contemporary Examples of operator

Historical Examples of operator

  • This includes the total weight of the machine and equipment, and also the operator.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • Add the weight of the operator to the weight of the complete machine.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • Bleriot—(Drexel, operator)—exactly the same as Moissant's machine.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • This apparatus is intended to carry only one person (the operator).

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • The operator offered him the hospitality of the private room, but this he declined.


British Dictionary definitions for operator

operator

noun
  1. a person who operates a machine, instrument, etc, esp, a person who makes connections on a telephone switchboard or at an exchange
  2. a person who owns or operates an industrial or commercial establishment
  3. a speculator, esp one who operates on currency or stock markets
  4. informal a person who manipulates affairs and other people
  5. maths any symbol, term, letter, etc, used to indicate or express a specific operation or process, such as Δ (the differential operator)
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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 operator

n.

1590s, "one who performs mechanical or surgical operations," agent noun from operate (v.) or from Late Latin operator. Meaning "one who carries on business shrewdly" is from 1828. Specific sense of "one who works a telephone switchboard" (1884) grew out of earlier meaning "one who works a telegraph" (1847).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

operator in Medicine

operator

(ŏpə-rā′tər)
n.
  1. An operator gene.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

operator in Science

operator

[ŏpə-rā′tər]
  1. Mathematics A function, especially one from a set to itself, such as differentiation of a differentiable function or rotation of a vector. In quantum mechanics, measurable quantities of a physical system, such as position and momentum, are related to unique operators applied to the wave equation describing the system.
  2. A logical operator.
  3. Genetics A segment of chromosomal DNA that regulates the activity of the structural genes of an operon by interacting with a specific repressor.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.