Definitions for operateˈɒp əˌreɪt

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word operate

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

op•er•ateˈɒp əˌreɪt(v.)-at•ed, -at•ing.

  1. (v.i.)to work, perform, or function, as a machine does.

  2. to exert force or influence (often fol. by on or upon).

  3. to perform some process of work or treatment.

  4. to perform a surgical procedure.

    Category: Surgery

  5. to carry on military operations in war. to give orders and carry out military acts, as distinguished from doing staff work.

    Category: Military

  6. to carry on transactions in securities, or some commodity, esp. speculatively or on a large scale.

  7. Informal. to insinuate oneself; finagle.

    Category: Common Vocabulary, Informal

  8. (v.t.)to manage or use (a machine, device, etc.).

  9. to put or keep (a factory, industrial system, ranch, etc.) in operation.

  10. to bring about, effect, or produce, as by action or the exertion of force or influence.

Origin of operate:

1600–10; < LL operārī, -āre to work, be efficacious, effect, produce, L: to busy oneself, v. der. of opera effort, work


Princeton's WordNet

  1. operate, run(verb)

    direct or control; projects, businesses, etc.

    "She is running a relief operation in the Sudan"

  2. function, work, operate, go, run(verb)

    perform as expected when applied

    "The washing machine won't go unless it's plugged in"; "Does this old car still run well?"; "This old radio doesn't work anymore"

  3. operate, control(verb)

    handle and cause to function

    "do not operate machinery after imbibing alcohol"; "control the lever"

  4. manoeuver, maneuver, manoeuvre, operate(verb)

    perform a movement in military or naval tactics in order to secure an advantage in attack or defense

  5. operate(verb)


    "What is going on in the minds of the people?"

  6. engage, mesh, lock, operate(verb)

    keep engaged

    "engaged the gears"

  7. operate on, operate(verb)

    perform surgery on

    "The doctors operated on the patient but failed to save his life"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. operate(verb)ˈɒp əˌreɪt

    (of a machine) to work correctly

    The vending machine was not operating.

  2. operateˈɒp əˌreɪt

    to control a machine to make it do its job

    He operates a crane for the construction company.

  3. operateˈɒp əˌreɪt

    to perform a medical procedure that involves cutting into sb's body

    We will need to operate if she does not improve.; They had to operate on my father/his heart.

  4. operateˈɒp əˌreɪt

    to be doing business, or making a company do business

    What permits do I need to operate a hot dog stand in the State of Georgia?; We've been operating as a charity since 2001.


  1. operate(Verb)

    To perform a work or labour; to exert power or strength, physical or mechanical; to act.

  2. operate(Verb)

    To produce an appropriate physical effect; to issue in the result designed by nature; especially (Med.), to take appropriate effect on the human system.

  3. operate(Verb)

    To act or produce effect on the mind; to exert moral power or influence.

  4. operate(Verb)

    To perform some manual act upon a human body in a methodical manner, and usually with instruments, with a view to restore soundness or health, as in amputation, lithotomy, etc.

  5. operate(Verb)

    To deal in stocks or any commodity with a view to speculative profits.

  6. operate(Verb)

    To produce, as an effect; to cause.

  7. operate(Verb)

    To put into, or to continue in, operation or activity; to work; as, to operate a machine.

  8. Origin: From operatus, past participle of operari, from opus, operis.


  1. Operate

    "Operate" is a Dance-punk song written and recorded by Peaches. The song was released as a double limited vinyl A-side with "Shake Yer Dix" to promote the release of her second studio album Fatherfucker.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'operate' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2552

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'operate' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3144

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'operate' in Verbs Frequency: #225

Translations for operate

From our Multilingual Dictionary

  • شغلArabic
  • operieren, betreibenGerman
  • influir, controlar, operar, trabajar, especular, manipular, obrarSpanish
  • operoida, leikata, suorittaa, vaikuttaa, aiheuttaa, toimia, käyttää, tehota, tehdäFinnish
  • opérerFrench
  • üzemel, működikHungarian
  • attivare, operareItalian
  • 操作, 運営するJapanese
  • 경영하다Korean
  • tapahi, pokaMāori
  • opereren, aandrijvenDutch
  • operarPortuguese
  • работать, оказывать влияние, спекулировать, влиять, эксплуатировать, вызывать, оперировать, управлять, действоватьRussian
  • opereraSwedish


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