- op|e|rateW2S3 [ˈɔpəreıt US ˈa:p-] v▬▬▬▬▬▬▬1¦(machine)¦2¦(business/organization)¦3¦(system/process/service)¦4¦(medical)¦5¦(work)¦6¦(soldiers/police)¦7 operate as something8¦(laws/principles)¦▬▬▬▬▬▬▬[Date: 1600-1700; : Latin; Origin: , past participle of operari 'to work', from opus; OPUS]1.) ¦(MACHINE)¦a) [T]to use and control a machine or equipment▪ The Lewis family operated a number of boats on the canal.▪ Clive was experienced in operating the computers.b) [I always + adverb/preposition]if a machine operates in a particular way, it works in that wayoperate in/at▪ Check that the equipment is operating in a safe manner.▪ The bus is designed to operate in all weather conditions.▪ Most freezers operate at below -18°C.2.) ¦(BUSINESS/ORGANIZATION)¦a)if a business or organization operates in a particular place or way, it works in that place or wayoperate in/within/from▪ a design company operating from offices in Seattle.▪ A playgroup operates on the campus.▪ They were trying to reduce operating costs .b) [T]to control a business or organization▪ Nuns are operating an emergency hospital.3.) ¦(SYSTEM/PROCESS/SERVICE)¦ [I and T]if a system, process, or service operates, or if you operate it, it works▪ The whole tax system is now operating more efficiently.▪ The new law doesn't operate in our favour.▪ The car parks operate a pay-as-you-leave system.▪ The bus company operates a Monday to Saturday service.4.) ¦(MEDICAL)¦ [I]to cut into someone's body in order to repair or remove a part that is damaged▪ Doctors had to operate to remove the bullet.operate on▪ the surgeon who operated on Taylor's knee5.) ¦(WORK)¦ [I]to do your job or try to achieve things in a particular way▪ Most people just can't operate in noisy, crowded conditions.▪ Older children often like to operate independently.6.) ¦(SOLDIERS/POLICE)¦ [I]if soldiers or police officers are operating in an area, they are working in that areaoperate in▪ Security patrols now operate in some of the most dangerous parts of the city.▪ enemy submarines operating in the Mediterranean7.) operate as sthto have a particular purpose▪ The foam operates as a very effective filter.▪ The car's service manual is designed to operate as a guide for owners.8.) ¦(LAWS/PRINCIPLES)¦ [I]to have an effect on something▪ the laws of evolution operating on each species▬▬▬▬▬▬▬HINT sense 4A surgeon does not 'operate' a part of a person's body. He or she operates on it: [i]They need to operate on her stomach (NOT operate her stomach).▬▬▬▬▬▬▬
Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.