From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishoperateop‧e‧rate /ˈɒpəreɪt $ ˈɑːp-/ ●●● S3 W2 verb 🔊 🔊 1 machine a) [transitive]TCONTROL to use and control a machine or equipment 🔊 The Lewis family operated a number of boats on the canal. 🔊 Clive was experienced in operating the computers. b) [intransitive always + adverb/preposition] if a machine operates in a particular way, it works in that wayoperate in/at 🔊 Check that the equipment is operating in a safe manner. 🔊 The bus is designed to operate in all weather conditions. 🔊 Most freezers operate at below –18°C.2 business/organization a) BUSINESS[intransitive] if a business or organization operates in a particular place or way, it works in that place or wayoperate in/within/from 🔊 a design company operating from offices in Seattle 🔊 A playgroup operates on the campus. 🔊 They were trying to reduce operating costs. b) [transitive] to control a business or organization 🔊 Nuns are operating an emergency hospital.3 system/process/service [intransitive, transitive]WAY/METHOD if a system, process, or service operates, or if you operate it, it works 🔊 The whole tax system is now operating more efficiently. 🔊 The new law doesn’t operate in our favour. 🔊 The car parks operate a pay-as-you-leave system. 🔊 The bus company operates a Monday to Saturday service.4 medical [intransitive]MH to cut into someone’s body in order to repair or remove a part that is damaged 🔊 Doctors had to operate to remove the bullet.operate on 🔊 the surgeon who operated on Taylor’s knee ► A doctor does not ‘operate’ a part of a person’s body. He or she operates on it: They need to operate on her stomach (NOT operate her stomach).5 work [intransitive]WORK/DO WORK to do your job or try to achieve things in a particular way 🔊 Most people just can’t operate in noisy crowded conditions. 🔊 Older children often like to operate independently.6 soldiers/police [intransitive]WORK/DO WORK if soldiers or police officers are operating in an area, they are working in that areaoperate in 🔊 Security patrols now operate in some of the most dangerous parts of the city. 🔊 enemy submarines operating in the Mediterranean7 → operate as something8 laws/principles [intransitive]EFFECT/INFLUENCE to have an effect on something 🔊 the laws of evolution operating on each species→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusoperate• Courtaulds has operated a representative office in Jakarta since early 1991.• Kaohsiung operates a system whereby employees can offer operational advice regarding improvements to production methods.• A hand-held remote control makes the device easy to operate as well.• As the name implies, the sole proprietorship is owned and operated by a single individual.• They passed a cement mixer that was being operated by two men in dusty overalls.• If the unit fails to operate, check your construction.• The company operates fast-food restaurants in over 60 countries.• Screenview are a small company operating from a converted barn in a village near Norwich.• In London, Bristol, Liverpool and Manchester, the trade operates in a similar way.• Olivetti operates in all the major computer markets in the world.• The legislative system operates independently of the President.• We excluded from our review networks that were operated on a private, for-profit basis.• Alice operates on her own time schedule.• They had operated on him six times before he was a year old.• They had to operate on my arm because it was broken in two places.• It is also possible that the semantic and phonetic clues are in fact operated on not sequentially but simultaneously.• It can be risky to operate on very old people.• The doctor says they'll have to operate straightaway, before the cancer spreads.• Do you know how to operate the air conditioning?• A team of three men operate the dam.• Don't worry - everyone will be shown how to operate the new machines.• It took me weeks to learn to operate the VCR.• Our generator doesn't operate well in cold weather.• Smith was accused of operating without the knowledge of his commanding officer.operate in/at• Darden executives also know they are operating in a tougher environment than when they introduced Olive Garden.• They operate in a way which runs counter to the original purpose of creation.• Secondly, control through the imposition of this fiduciary duty operates in an asymmetrical fashion.• Such systems could operate at lower cost than current methods and may soon become commercialized.• They operated in rugged enemy-fortified zones and in heavily populated rural areas.• Agribusiness that operates in sectors marked by seasonal fluctuations has been prone to this sort of employment.• In one significant sense, however, Mrs Thatcher has operated in the tradition of Conservative statesmanship.• Finally, we can look a little more closely at the main hotel groups operating in the United Kingdom.operating costs• Delta benefits from a modern fleet of aircraft with low operating costs.• Denver International must take in at least $ 304 million in revenues next year to cover annual debt service and operating costs.• Its aim was to cut operating costs.• The regulation worked out so that the company provided local service at prices that failed to cover more than direct operating costs.• They provide food products at lower cost than conventional supermarkets; they minimize operating costs and customer services.• After the deduction of operating costs and payments to shareholders, this is put to reserve.• This means that operating costs are a fraction of those at a typical full-price supermarket.• By the start of the 1980s, however, the company had cut its operating costs pretty much to the bone.operate on• Doctors had to operate on his spine.