a) (T) to use and control a machine or equipment: If affected by drowsiness, do not drive or operate heavy machinery. | instructions for operating the central heating
b) (intransitive always + adv/prep) if a machine operates in a particular way, it works in that way; function 2
(+ in/at): a motor operating at high speeds.
a) (I) if a system, process etc operates, it works in a particular way or for a particular purpose: How well does your company's decision-making system operate in practice? | The new law doesn't operate in our favour.
b) (T) if you operate a system, service etc, you make it work: St. Mark's School operates a system of rewards and punishments.
3 MEDICAL (I) to cut open someone's body in order to remove or repair a part that is damaged: It's serious. We'll have to operate immediately.
(+ on/for): Doctors had to operate on his spine.
4 BUSINESS/ORGANIZATION (intransitive always + adv/prep) to work in a particular place or way
(+ in/within/from): rival gangs that operate in the south side of the city | a small company operating out of a converted barn
5 WORK (I) to do your job or try to achieve things in a particular way: Soldiers cannot operate effectively without good food. | That's just the way she operates.
6 operate as to have a particular purpose: The word `onward' can operate as an adjective and an adverb. | Our consciences operate as a check on our behaviour.
7 LAWS/PRINCIPLES (I) to have an effect on something: evolutionary principles operating in the physical world

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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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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