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Adjective: operative  ó-p(u-)ru-tiv
  1. Being in force, having or exerting force
    "operative regulations"; "the major tendencies operative in the American political system"
  2. Relating to, requiring or amenable to treatment by surgery especially as opposed to medicine
    "operative dentistry";
    - surgical
  3. Effective; producing a desired effect
    "the operative word"
  4. (of e.g. a machine) performing or capable of performing
    "in operative order";
    - running, functional, working
Noun: operative  ó-p(u-)ru-tiv
  1. A person secretly employed in espionage for a government
    - secret agent, intelligence officer, intelligence agent, spy, spook [informal]
  2. Someone who can be employed as a detective to collect information and assist in criminal investigations
    - private detective, PI, private eye, private investigator, shamus, sherlock
  3. A worker, esp. one employed to perform a particular skilled job

Derived forms: operatives

See also: effective, functioning, good, important, in effect, in force, in operation, operant, operating, operational, postoperative, preoperative, significant, working

Type of: agent, detective

Antonym: inoperative, medical

Encyclopedia: Operative