operate Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “operate” in the English Dictionary

"operate" in British English

See all translations

operateverb

uk   /ˈɒp.ər.eɪt/  us   /ˈɑː.pə.reɪt/

operate verb (WORK)

B2 [I or T] to (​cause to) ​work, be in ​action or have an ​effect: How do you operate the ​remotecontrolunit? Does the ​company operate a ​pensionscheme? For several ​years she operated a ​datingagency from her ​basement. Changes are being ​introduced to make the ​department operate more ​efficiently. Specially ​equippedtroops are operating in the ​hills. We have ​representatives operating in most ​countries. Exchange ​rates are ​currently operating to the ​advantage of ​exporters.
More examples

operate verb (MEDICAL PROCESS)

B1 [I] to ​cut a ​bodyopen for ​medicalreasons in ​order to ​repair, ​remove, or ​replace an ​unhealthy or ​damagedpart: If the ​growth gets any ​bigger they'll have to operate. Are they going to operate on him?
(Definition of operate from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"operate" in American English

See all translations

operateverb

 us   /ˈɑp·əˌreɪt/

operate verb (WORK)

[I/T] to ​work or ​cause something to ​work, be in ​action, or have an ​effect: [T] How do you operate the ​remotecontrolunit? [I] Changes are being ​introduced to make the ​department operate more ​efficiently.

operate verb (USE MEDICAL PROCESS)

[I] to ​cut a ​bodyopen in ​order to ​repair, ​remove, or ​replace an ​unhealthy or ​damagedpart: Doctors will operate on her ​tomorrowmorning.
(Definition of operate from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"operate" in Business English

See all translations

operateverb

uk   us   /ˈɒpəreɪt/
[T] to use or ​controlequipment or a ​machine or to make something ​work: Older ​people are ​returning to classrooms for ​instruction in everything from operating a ​mouse to ​masteringspreadsheets.
[I] if a ​business, ​system, etc. operates in a particular way, it ​works or is used in that way: Changes are being ​introduced to make the ​department operate more ​profitably. Exchange ​rates are ​currently operating to the ​advantage of ​exporters.operate as sth The ​company operates as an ​internationaldeliveryservice for ​producetradingcompanies.operate through sb/sth Centralized ​lenders operate through ​mortgagebrokers and ​insurancecompanies.operate at sth The ​plant is operating at barely 30% of ​capacity.
[I] to do ​business in or from a particular ​place: operate across/in/from sth We operate in 50 countries around the ​world. We have ​representatives operating in most countries.operate out of sth The ​organization operates out of a ​smalloffice in the ​centre of town.
[T] to ​manage a ​business, ​service, etc. and make it ​work: The ​company operated 156 fewer ​stores this ​year. We began operating a ​pilotservice earlier this ​year. Does the ​company operate a ​pensionplan?
(Definition of operate from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of operate?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“operate” in Business English

Word of the Day
public school

in England, an expensive type of private school (= school paid for by parents not by the government)

Word of the Day

Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
by ,
August 27, 2015
The English language is constantly changing. You know that. But did you know that at Cambridge Dictionaries Online we keep track of the changes? We continually add new words and new meanings to our online dictionary for learners of English. Some of them are new to English entirely (neologisms), and some are new to our

Read More 

hyperpalatable adjective
hyperpalatable adjective
August 24, 2015
describes food with heightened levels of sugar and salt, intended to be extremely appealing In Brazil, where the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has doubled since 1980, crisps, biscuits, energy bars and sugary drinks formulated to be ‘hyper-palatable’ are much more widely eaten than previously.

Read More