Definition of operative in English:


Line breaks: op¦era|tive
Pronunciation: /ˈɒp(ə)rətɪv


  • 2 [attributive] Relating to surgery: wounds needing operative treatment
    More example sentences
    • For some major types of surgery, operative mortality is an important measure of performance.
    • Patients found unfit on account of low PFT values for a particular type of surgery were rejected for operative procedure.
    • However, the medical therapy is generally not very effective and should be reserved for patients unwilling to undergo dilation or surgery or poor operative candidates.


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  • 1A worker, especially one in a manufacturing industry: the operatives clean the machines at the end of every shift
    More example sentences
    • The lay people, it should be added, are most likely to be the technical operatives in the seed industry in the USA.
    • Pride of place must go to our local County Council operatives and temporary workers who led by splendid example throughout.
    • Most were packers but others worked as machine operatives or fork-lift truck drivers.
    machinist, (machine) operator, mechanic, engineer, driver, worker, workman, (factory) hand, artisan, craftsman, craftswoman, blue-collar worker; British machine minder



More example sentences
  • Many very low birthweight infants 316 were delivered operatively, as a reflection of either maternal indications such as uncontrolled pre-eclampsia or fetal distress after premature labour.
  • Whether the players were treated operatively or nonoperatively, we found reduced performance in the functional tests and reduced muscle strength in the involved leg compared with the uninvolved leg.
  • The press member is operatively connected to the container body for movement of the press member between a wringing position and a non-wringing position relative to the wringing surface of the container body.




late Middle English: from late Latin operativus, from Latin operat- 'done by labour', from the verb operari (see operate).

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