What does operation mean?

Definitions for operation
ˌɒp əˈreɪ ʃənop·er·a·tion

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word operation.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. operationnoun

    the state of being in effect or being operative

    "that rule is no longer in operation"

  2. operationnoun

    a business especially one run on a large scale

    "a large-scale farming operation"; "a multinational operation"; "they paid taxes on every stage of the operation"; "they had to consolidate their operations"

  3. operationnoun

    a planned activity involving many people performing various actions

    "they organized a rescue operation"; "the biggest police operation in French history"; "running a restaurant is quite an operation"; "consolidate the companies various operations"

  4. operationnoun

    (computer science) data processing in which the result is completely specified by a rule (especially the processing that results from a single instruction)

    "it can perform millions of operations per second"

  5. operation, military operationnoun

    activity by a military or naval force (as a maneuver or campaign)

    "it was a joint operation of the navy and air force"

  6. operation, surgery, surgical operation, surgical procedure, surgical processnoun

    a medical procedure involving an incision with instruments; performed to repair damage or arrest disease in a living body

    "they will schedule the operation as soon as an operating room is available"; "he died while undergoing surgery"

  7. operation, procedurenoun

    a process or series of acts especially of a practical or mechanical nature involved in a particular form of work

    "the operations in building a house"; "certain machine tool operations"

  8. operation, functioning, performancenoun

    process or manner of functioning or operating

    "the power of its engine determines its operation"; "the plane's operation in high winds"; "they compared the cooking performance of each oven"; "the jet's performance conformed to high standards"

  9. process, cognitive process, mental process, operation, cognitive operationnoun

    (psychology) the performance of some composite cognitive activity; an operation that affects mental contents

    "the process of thinking"; "the cognitive operation of remembering"

  10. mathematical process, mathematical operation, operationnoun

    (mathematics) calculation by mathematical methods

    "the problems at the end of the chapter demonstrated the mathematical processes involved in the derivation"; "they were learning the basic operations of arithmetic"

  11. operationnoun

    the activity of operating something (a machine or business etc.)

    "her smooth operation of the vehicle gave us a surprisingly comfortable ride"


  1. operationnoun

    The method by which a device performs its function.

    It is dangerous to look at the beam of a laser while it is in operation.

  2. operationnoun

    The method or practice by which actions are done.

  3. operationnoun

    A planned undertaking.

  4. operationnoun

    A business or organization.

  5. operationnoun

    a surgical procedure.

    She had an operation to remove her appendix.

  6. operationnoun

    a procedure for generating a value from one or more other values (the operands; the value for any particular operands is unique)

  7. operationnoun

    a military campaign (w:Operation Desert Storm)

  8. Etymology: From operari, from opus, operis

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Operationnoun

    Etymology: operatio, Lat. operation, French.

    There are in men operations, some natural, some rational, some supernatural, some politick, some finally ecclesiastical. Richard Hooker.

    By all the operations of the orbs,
    From whom we do exist and cease to be,
    Here I disclaim all my paternal care. William Shakespeare, Lear.

    All operations by transmission of spirits and imagination, work at distance and not at touch. Francis Bacon, Nat. Hist.

    Waller’s presence had an extraordinary operation to procure any thing desired. Edward Hyde, b. viii.

    The tree whose operation brings
    Knowledge of good and ill, shun to taste. John Milton, P. Lost.

    If the operation of these salts be in convenient glasses promoted by warmth, the ascending steams may easily be caught and reduced into a penetrant spirit. Boyle.

    The pain and sickness caused by manna, are the effects of its operation on the stomach and guts by the seize, motion and figure of its insensible parts. John Locke.

    Repentance and renovation consist not in the strife, wish, or purpose, but in the actual operations of good life. Henry Hammond.

    That false fruit
    Far other operation first display’d,
    Carnal desire inflaming. John Milton, Par. Lost, b. ix.

    Speculative painting, without the assistance of manual operation, can never attain to perfection, but slothfully languishes; for it was not with his tongue that Apelles performed his noble works. John Dryden, Dufresnoy.

    In this understanding piece of clock-work, his body as well as other senseless matter has colour, warmth and softness. But these qualities are not subsistent in those bodies, but are operations of fancy begotten in something else. Richard Bentley.


  1. operation

    An operation is a procedure or activity carried out to achieve a specific purpose or outcome. This can refer to a series of actions or steps taken in a particular order, whether in mathematics, computer programming, business, or medicine. The term also refers to the functioning or performance of certain tasks by an organization or a system.


  1. Operation

    In its simplest meaning in mathematics and logic, an operation is an action or procedure which produces a new value from one or more input values, called "operands". There are two common types of operations: unary and binary. Unary operations involve only one value, such as negation and trigonometric functions. Binary operations, on the other hand, take two values, and include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and exponentiation. Operations can involve mathematical objects other than numbers. The logical values true and false can be combined using logic operations, such as and, or, and not. Vectors can be added and subtracted. Rotations can be combined using the function composition operation, performing the first rotation and then the second. Operations on sets include the binary operations union and intersection and the unary operation of complementation. Operations on functions include composition and convolution. Operations may not be defined for every possible value. For example, in the real numbers one cannot divide by zero or take square roots of negative numbers. The values for which an operation is defined form a set called its domain. The set which contains the values produced is called the codomain, but the set of actual values attained by the operation is its range. For example, in the real numbers, the squaring operation only produces nonnegative numbers; the codomain is the set of real numbers but the range is the nonnegative numbers.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. operation

    1. A military action or the carrying out of a strategic, operational, tactical, service, training, or administrative military mission. 2. The process of carrying on combat, including movement, supply, attack, defense, and maneuvers needed to gain the objectives of any battle or campaign.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'operation' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #995

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'operation' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1373

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'operation' in Nouns Frequency: #241

How to pronounce operation?

How to say operation in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of operation in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of operation in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Examples of operation in a Sentence

  1. Akira Hirai:

    Most equity investors prefer either an executive summary or pitch deck for first contact, but will often request a more detailed plan later in the due diligence process. Potential customers don’t need all the details of your internal operation. Your management team needs access to everything.

  2. Ye Htut:

    The operation is starting. They will be taken to a safe destination.

  3. Joe Crameri:

    Once we've got that information, then we'll be able to formulate a more correct plan for how we can separate Nima Pelden but at the moment we remain confident that we should achieve that in a single operation and we should be able to achieve a good outcome for both twins.

  4. Dawood Shah Wafadar:

    The operation is going very slowly as the Taliban have taken six people hostage including two women and two children, so we have to act cautiously.

  5. Stephanie King:

    Synchrony has also been linked to oxytocin release in humans, which promotes trust and co-operation.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for operation

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"operation." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 3 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/operation>.

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    not established or confirmed
    • A. incumbent
    • B. unsealed
    • C. eloquent
    • D. ambidextrous

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