Definition of


  1. (noun, act) the activity of operating something (a machine or business etc.)
  2. (noun, act) a planned activity involving many people performing various actions
    the biggest police operation in French history
    running a restaurant is quite an operation
    consolidate the companies various operations
  3. (noun, act) a process or series of acts especially of a practical or mechanical nature involved in a particular form of work
    certain machine tool operations
  4. (noun, act) a medical procedure involving an incision with instruments; performed to repair damage or arrest disease in a living body
    he died while undergoing surgery
  5. (noun, act) (mathematics) calculation by mathematical methods
    they were learning the basic operations of arithmetic
  6. (noun, act) activity by a military or naval force (as a maneuver or campaign)
  7. (noun, act) a business especially one run on a large scale
    a multinational operation
    they paid taxes on every stage of the operation
    they had to consolidate their operations
  8. (noun, cognition) (psychology) the performance of some composite cognitive activity; an operation that affects mental contents
    the cognitive operation of remembering
  9. (noun, process) (computer science) data processing in which the result is completely specified by a rule (especially the processing that results from a single instruction)
  10. (noun, process) process or manner of functioning or operating
    the plane's operation in high winds
    they compared the cooking performance of each oven
    the jet's performance conformed to high standards
  11. (noun, state) the state of being in effect or being operative

via WordNet, Princeton University

Alternate forms of Operation

Derivations: operate, operative

Hyponyms: ablation, access, amphibious operation, amputation, anaplasty, angioplasty, arithmetic operation, arthroplasty, arthroscopy, asynchronous operation, attack, auxiliary operation, basic cognitive process, binary arithmetic operation, binary operation, boolean operation, brain surgery, campaign, castration, catheterisation, catheterization, cauterisation, cauterization, cautery, chemosurgery, combination, combined operation, commission, computer operation, concurrent operation, consecutive operation, construction, control function, control operation, covert operation, craniotomy, cryosurgery, curettage, curettement, cutting out, d and c, debridement, decortication, differentiation, dilatation and curettage, dilation and curettage, dyadic operation, electrosurgery, enterostomy, enterotomy, enucleation, evisceration, excision, exenteration, exponentiation, extirpation, eye operation, eye surgery, fenestration, fixed-cycle operation, gastrectomy, gastroenterostomy, gastrostomy, haemorrhoidectomy, heart surgery, hemorrhoidectomy, higher cognitive process, hysterotomy, idle, implantation, information gathering, integration, intestinal bypass, involution, jejunostomy, logic operation, logical operation, lookup, machine operation, major surgery, maneuver, manoeuvre, matrix operation, maximization, memory access, microsurgery, military campaign, military mission, minor surgery, mission, monadic operation, multiplex operation, myotomy, myringectomy, myringoplasty, myringotomy, naval campaign, neurosurgery, off-line operation, offence, offense, offensive, onrush, onset, onslaught, orchiopexy, organ transplant, osteotomy, ostomy, palatopharyngoplasty, parallel operation, peacekeeping, peacekeeping mission, peacekeeping operation, permutation, phlebectomy, photocoagulation, plastic surgery, polypectomy, ppp, printing operation, psychological operation, psyop, purse-string operation, reconstructive surgery, reenforcement, reinforcement, relaxation, relaxation method, rescue operation, resection, rhinotomy, rhizotomy, running, search, sequential operation, serial operation, sex-change operation, shirodkar's operation, simulated military operation, simultaneous operation, sort, sorting, sterilisation, sterilization, strabotomy, support, synchronous operation, taxis, threshold operation, tracheostomy, tracheotomy, transplant, transplantation, transsexual surgery, trephination, tympanoplasty, unary operation, undercover operation, uppp, uranoplasty, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, vasovasostomy, vivisection, wrong-site surgery

Hypernyms: action, activeness, activity, business activity, calculation, cognition, commercial activity, computation, computing, data processing, knowledge, medical procedure, noesis, physical process, process, work

Origin of the word Operation

  1. late 14c., "action, performance, work," also "the performance of some science or art," from O.Fr. operacion, from L. operationem (nom. operatio) "a working, operation," from operari "to work, labor" (in L.L. "to have effect, be active, cause"), from opera "work, effort," related to opus (gen. operis) "a work" (see opus). The surg… more

via Online Etymology Dictionary, ©2001 Douglas Harper

Words that sound like Operation

operate on, opportune, overdone, overtime, overtone

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