Definition of operative noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɒpərətɪv//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːpərətɪv//
    , NAmE//ˈɑːpəreɪtɪv//
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  1. 1(specialist) a worker, especially one who works with their hands a factory operative skilled/unskilled operatives
  2. 2(especially North American English) a person who does secret work, especially for a government organization an intelligence operative
  3. Word Originlate Middle English: from late Latin operativus, from Latin operat- ‘done by labour’, from the verb operari, from opus, oper- ‘work’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: operative