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1 [often with modifier] a person who operates equipment or a machine:a radio operator
(usually the operator
) a person who works for a telephone company assisting users, or who works at a telephone switchboard.
2 [usually with modifier] a person or company that engages in or runs a business or enterprise:a tour operator 3 [with adjective] informal a person who acts in a specified, especially a manipulative, way:her reputation as a cool, clever operator 4 Mathematics a symbol or function denoting an operation (e.g., ×, +).