English dictionary

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English verb: operate

1. operate (social) direct or control; projects, businesses, etc.

SamplesShe is running a relief operation in the Sudan.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something

Broader (hypernym)direct

Narrower (hyponym)block, financier, warm up, work

2. operate (contact) perform as expected when applied

SamplesThe washing machine won't go unless it's plugged in.
Does this old car still run well?.
This old radio doesn't work anymore.

ExamplesThese cars won't operate

Synonymsfunction, go, run, work

Pattern of useSomething ----s

Narrower (hyponym)cut, double, roll, run, serve, service

Verb grouprun, work

Antonymsmalfunction, misfunction

3. operate (contact) handle and cause to function

SamplesDo not operate machinery after imbibing alcohol.
Control the lever.


Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)manipulate

Narrower (hyponym)aviate, dial, drive, fly, gate, pedal, pilot, relay, submarine, synchronise, synchronize, treadle, turn

Verb groupcontrol, master

4. operate (competition) perform a movement in military or naval tactics in order to secure an advantage in attack or defense

Synonymsmaneuver, manoeuver, manoeuvre

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something PP.
Somebody ----s PP

Broader (hypernym)go, move

Narrower (hyponym)jockey

5. operate (change) happen

SamplesWhat is going on in the minds of the people?.

Pattern of useSomething is ----ing PP

Broader (hypernym)come about, fall out, go on, hap, happen, occur, pass, pass off, take place

6. operate (contact) keep engaged

SamplesEngaged the gears.

Synonymsengage, lock, mesh

Pattern of useSomething ----s.
Something is ----ing PP.
Somebody ----s something.
Something ----s something

Broader (hypernym)displace, move

Narrower (hyponym)flip, ride, switch, throw

Antonymsdisengage, withdraw

7. operate (body) perform surgery on

SamplesThe doctors operated on the patient but failed to save his life.

ExamplesDid he operate his foot?

Synonymsoperate on

Pattern of useSomebody ----s something.
Somebody ----s somebody

Broader (hypernym)care for, treat

Narrower (hyponym)desex, desexualise, desexualize, face-lift, fix, lift, sterilise, sterilize, trephine, unsex, venesect

Domain categorymedicine, practice of medicine

Based on WordNet 3.0 copyright © Princeton University.
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