Definition of operation in English:


Line breaks: op¦er|ation
Pronunciation: /ɒpəˈreɪʃ(ə)n


  • 2An act of surgery performed on a patient: I’ve never felt better since my bypass operation
    More example sentences
    • To avoid this problem, some surgeons perform coronary bypass operations on beating hearts.
    • Vasectomy can easily be performed as an outpatient operation under local anaesthetic.
    • Patients can visit day surgery units for small operations and be allowed to return home later in the day or evening.
    surgery, surgical operation, surgical intervention, major surgery, minor surgery
  • 3 [often with adjective or noun modifier] An organized activity involving a number of people: a rescue operation
    More example sentences
    • His leadership combined military operations, government administration, and economic management.
    • Arguably they are too late, since the unprecedented military operation staged to rescue her was itself a made for-TV movie directed by the Pentagon.
    • The official avoided making specific comments on the possibility of a U.S.-led military operation to rescue Koda.
    action, activity, exercise, affair, business, undertaking, step, enterprise, task, job, process, procedure, manoeuvre, campaign
  • 3.1A business organization; a company: he reopened his operation under a different name
    More example sentences
    • Today, the companies are vastly different operations and producing returns at opposite ends of the scale for their owners.
    • Inquiries about a private operation produced an estimate of £19,000.
    • Most companies have not made the transition from being multi-region organizations to truly global operations.
  • 3.2An activity in which a business is involved: the company is selling most of its commercial banking operations
    More example sentences
    • The sequence of banking operations involved in payment turns, in part, on whether there is a credit transfer or debit transfer.
    • I'm not really involved in the day-to-day operations of the business, but I'm trying to get more and more involved.
    • They are long on management talent and typically expect to be involved in the day-to-day operations of acquired businesses.
  • 4 Mathematics A process in which a number, quantity, expression, etc., is altered or manipulated according to set formal rules, such as those of addition, multiplication, and differentiation.
    More example sentences
    • Problems can be created to cover all math operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division!
    • That is addition, multiplication and the two inverse operations of subtraction and division.
    • For example, one can have a group in which the objects are numbers and the combining operation is addition or multiplication.


late Middle English: via Old French from Latin operatio(n-), from the verb operari 'expend labour on' (see operate).

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