Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of operate
Meaning of operate by Wiktionary Dictionary



    From Latin operatus, past participle of operari ( “to work, labor, toil, have effect” ), from opus, operis ( “work, labor” ) .


    operate ( third-person singular simple present operates present participle operating, simple past and past participle operated )

    1. To perform a work or labour; to exert power or strength, physical or mechanical; to act .
    2. 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. To act or produce effect on the mind; to exert moral power or influence .
    4. ( medicine ) 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. To deal in stocks or any commodity with a view to speculative profits .
    6. To produce, as an effect; to cause .
    7. To put into, or to continue in, operation or activity; to work; as, to operate a machine .

    See also

    • operate in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
    • operate in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Explanation of operate by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. perform surgery on

    2. The doctors operated on the patient but failed to save his life
    3. happen

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

    5. handle and cause to function

    6. do not operate machinery after imbibing alcohol
    7. keep engaged

    8. perform as expected when applied

    9. direct or control