Definition of operate verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈɒpəreɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːpəreɪt//
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they operate
    BrE BrE//ˈɒpəreɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːpəreɪt//
    he / she / it operates
    BrE BrE//ˈɒpəreɪts//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːpəreɪts//
    past simple operated
    BrE BrE//ˈɒpəreɪtɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːpəreɪtɪd//
    past participle operated
    BrE BrE//ˈɒpəreɪtɪd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːpəreɪtɪd//
    -ing form operating
    BrE BrE//ˈɒpəreɪtɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈɑːpəreɪtɪŋ//
    jump to other results
  1. 1  [intransitive] + adv./prep. to work in a particular way synonym function Most domestic freezers operate at below −18°C. Solar panels can only operate in sunlight. (figurative) Some people can only operate well under pressure.
  2. 2  [transitive] operate something to use or control a machine or make it work What skills are needed to operate this machinery?
  3. system/process/service
  4. 3  [intransitive, transitive] to be used or working; to use something or make it work A new late-night service is now operating. The regulation operates in favour of married couples. operate something The airline operates flights to 25 countries. France operates a system of subsidized loans to dairy farmers.
  5. of business/organization
  6. 4[intransitive] + adv./prep. to work in a particular way or from a particular place They plan to operate from a new office in Edinburgh. Illegal drinking clubs continue to operate in the city.
  7. medical
  8. 5  [intransitive] to cut open somebody’s body in order to remove a part that has a disease or to repair a part that is damaged The doctors operated last night. operate (on somebody) (for something) We will have to operate on his eyes. to operate for suspected acute appendicitis See related entries: Operations
  9. of soldiers
  10. 6[intransitive] (+ adv./prep.) to be involved in military activities in a place Troops are operating from bases in the north.
  11. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from Latin operat- ‘done by labour’, from the verb operari, from opus, oper- ‘work’.Extra examples Local authorities operate within a wider political system. The airline currently operates 115 routes to 39 airports in 13 countries. The doors can be manually operated in the event of fire. The equipment was not operating properly. The government does not operate according to fixed rules. The hospital was operating normally. The industry operates under rigid guidelines. The laboratory is still owned by the government but is now commercially operated. The machine can operate for 15 hours continuously at full power. The machinery is easy to operate. We operate as an advisory service for schools. We will have to operate on her eyes. systems designed to operate at the highest speeds Most domestic freezers operate at below -18 °C. The animals can be trained to operate levers and push buttons in response to flashing lights.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: operate

Other results

All matches