- 1[not usually before noun] ready to be used; in use synonym functional This law becomes operative immediately. The station will be fully operative again in January.
- 2[only before noun] (medical) connected with a medical operation operative treatment see also postoperative Idioms
used to emphasize that a particular word or phrase is the most important one in a sentence I was in love with her—“was” being the operative word.
the operative wordjump to other results