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(1)   Perform surgery on
"The doctors operated on the patient but failed to save his life"
(2)   Happen
"What is going on in the minds of the people?"
(3)   Perform a movement in military or naval tactics in order to secure an advantage in attack or defense
(4)   Handle and cause to function
"Do not operate machinery after imbibing alcohol"
"Control the lever"
(5)   Keep engaged
"Engaged the gears"
(6)   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"
(7)   Direct or control; projects, businesses, etc.
"She is running a relief operation in the Sudan"


From , past participle of , from , .


  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. 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.

Related terms


  1. second-person plural present tense of operare
  2. second-person plural imperative of operare
  3. feminine plural past participle of operare