1. adjective

the steam railway is operative

running, up and running, working, functioning, operational, in operation, in use, in action, in effect

the operative word

key, significant, relevant, crucial, critical
inoperative, invalid
2. noun

the operatives clean the machines

machinist, operator, mechanic, engineer, worker, workman, (factory) hand

a CIA operative

agent, secret/undercover agent, spy, mole, plant; N.Amer.; informal spook

Synonyms and antonyms dictionary. 2014.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Operative — Op er*a*tive, a. [Cf.L. operativus, F. op[ e]ratif.] 1. Having the power of acting; hence, exerting force, physical or moral; active in the production of effects; as, an operative motive; operative laws. [1913 Webster] It holds in all operative… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Operative — may refer to: Political operative or campaign staff The Operative, a character from the television series Firefly The Operative: No One Lives Forever, a 2000 video game Operative Media, an advertising company, founded 2000 See also Agent… …   Wikipedia

  • operative — I adjective acting, active, adequate, advantageous, ample, applicable, at work, beneficial, capable, competent, effective, effectual, efficax, efficient, employed, fruitful, functional, functioning, helpful, in action, in effect, in force, in… …   Law dictionary

  • operative# — operative adj *active, dynamic, live Analogous words: *effective, effectual, efficacious, efficient: *fertile, fecund, fruitful Antonyms: abeyant operative n mechanic, artisan, hand, workman, working man, *worker, laborer, craftsman,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • operative — [äp′ə rə tiv΄, äp′ə rāt΄iv] adj. [Fr opératif < LL(Ec) operativus] 1. capable of, characterized by, or in operation 2. a) accomplishing what is desired; effective b) of primary importance; key; essential [the operative word in a sentence] 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • Operative — Op er*a*tive, n. 1. A skilled worker; an artisan; esp., one who operates a machine in a mill or manufactory. [1913 Webster] 2. One who acts as an agent of another, especially a detective or spy. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • operative — (adj.) producing the intended effect, early 15c., from L.L. operativus creative, formative, from operat , pp. stem of operari (see OPERATION (Cf. operation)). Weakened sense of significant, important is from 1955. The noun meaning worker,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • operative — [adj] active, functioning; influential accessible, alive, crucial, current, dynamic, effective, efficient, employable, functional, important, indicative, in force, in operation, key, live, open, operational, practicable, relevant, running,… …   New thesaurus

  • operative — ► ADJECTIVE 1) functioning; having effect. 2) (of a word) having the most relevance or significance in a phrase. 3) relating to surgery. ► NOUN 1) a worker, especially a skilled one. 2) a private detective or secret agent. DE …   English terms dictionary

  • operative — ▪ I. operative op‧e‧ra‧tive 1 [ˈɒprətɪv ǁ ˈɑːprə , ˈɑːpəreɪ ] adjective working or able to be used: • When does the plant become operative? • If the bond is currently trading below par, its operative life is likely to be the number of years to… …   Financial and business terms

  • operative — [[t]ɒ̱pərətɪv[/t]] operatives 1) ADJ: usu v link ADJ A system or service that is operative is working or having an effect. [FORMAL] The commercial telephone service was no longer operative... The Youth Training Scheme was operative by the end of… …   English dictionary