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Dictionary definition for: Operative

1. (n) a person secretly employed in espionage for a government

2. (a) being in force or having or exerting force; "operative regulations" "the major tendencies operative in the American political system"

3. (n) someone who can be employed as a detective to collect information

4. (a) of or relating to a surgical operation; "operative surgery"

5. (a) relating to or requiring or amenable to treatment by surgery especially as opposed to medicine; "a surgical appendix" "a surgical procedure" "operative dentistry"

6. (s) effective; producing a desired effect; "the operative word"

7. (s) (of e.g. a machine) performing or capable of performing; "in running (or working) order" "a functional set of brakes"

WordNet 2.1 Copyright Princeton University. All rights reserved.