op|er|ate [ `apə,reıt ] verb ***
▸ 1 equipment: work
▸ 2 organization: work
▸ 3 make medical cut in body
▸ 4 system: be available
▸ 5 rule: have effect
▸ 6 do something in a particular way
1. ) intransitive if equipment operates, it works and does what it is intended to do:
The ventilation equipment was not operating properly.
operate on/at: Many computers were still operating on a two-digit dating system.
The generator will operate even during a power outage.
a ) transitive to use and control a piece of equipment:
You should not operate machinery after taking this medication.
My job was to operate the telephone switchboard.
2. ) intransitive if an organization or company operates, it does its work:
The company has been operating in South America for two years.
operate as: The new business will operate as a subsidiary of our company.
operate under/within: All the parties have to operate within the democratic system.
operate on a basis/principle: The organization operates on a nonprofit basis.
a ) transitive to run a company or organization:
The casino is operated as a separate business from the hotel.
3. ) intransitive to cut into part of someone's body for medical reasons:
Surgeons had to operate to remove the bullet.
operate on: The driver of the car was operated on immediately.
We may have to operate on your leg.
4. ) transitive to organize a service or system and make it available to people:
This government agency operates the war on drugs.
a license to operate an airport limousine service
a ) intransitive if a service or system operates, it exists and is available:
Flights operate daily from Miami.
5. ) intransitive if something such as a rule, idea, or fact operates it exists and has an effect in a particular situation:
Racism operates at many levels, conscious and unconscious.
Very different factors were operating in the local and national elections.
operate as: This law effectively operates as a tax on education.
6. ) intransitive if someone operates in a particular way that is how they achieve what they want to do:
She won't argue with you, that's not how she operates.
operate by doing something: Carlson operated by gaining people's confidence and then taking their money.
operate as: The sales force usually operates as a team.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • operate — op‧e‧rate [ˈɒpəreɪt ǁ ˈɑː ] verb 1. [transitive] to use and control a machine or equipment: • the software necessary to operate the machine 2. [intransitive] MANUFACTURING if a machine, factory etc operates in a particular way, it works in that… …   Financial and business terms

  • Operate — Single by Peaches from the album Fatherfucker Released …   Wikipedia

  • Operate — Op er*ate, v. t. 1. To produce, as an effect; to cause. [1913 Webster] The same cause would operate a diminution of the value of stock. A. Hamilton. [1913 Webster] 2. To put into, or to continue in, operation or activity; to work; as, to operate… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • operate — I verb accomplish, achieve, act, act upon, administer, administrate, assume responsibility, attain, bring about, caretake, carry into execution, carry on, carry out, cause, command, conduct, control, deal with, direct, discharge, do, drive,… …   Law dictionary

  • operate — [v1] perform, function accomplish, achieve, act, act on, advance, behave, be in action, bend, benefit, bring about, burn, carry on, click*, compel, complete, concern, conduct, contact, contrive, convey, cook*, determine, direct, do, enforce,… …   New thesaurus

  • Operate — Op er*ate, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Operated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Operating}.] [L. operatus, p. p. of operari to work, fr. opus, operis, work, labor; akin to Skr. apas, and also to G. [ u]ben to exercise, OHG. uoben, Icel. [ae]fa. Cf. {Inure},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • operate — (v.) c.1600, to be in effect, from L. operari to work, labor (in L.L. to have effect, be active, cause ); see OPERATION (Cf. operation). Surgical sense is first attested 1799. Meaning to work machinery is from 1864 in Amer.Eng. Related: Operated; …   Etymology dictionary

  • operate — *act, behave, work, function, react …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • operate — has derivative forms operable (‘able to be operated on’, especially in medical contexts) and operator …   Modern English usage

  • operate — ► VERB 1) (of a machine, process, etc.) be in action; function. 2) control the functioning of (a machine or process). 3) (with reference to an organization) manage or be managed. 4) (of an armed force) conduct military activities. 5) be in effect …   English terms dictionary

  • operate — [äp′ər āt΄] vi. operated, operating [< L operatus, pp. of operari, to work < opus (gen. operis): see OPUS] 1. to be in action so as to produce an effect; act; function; work 2. to bring about a desired or appropriate effect; have a certain… …   English World dictionary

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