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See also: Operation and opération



From Middle French operation, from Old French operacion, from Latin operātiō, from the verb operor (I work), from opus, operis (work). Equivalent to operate +‎ -ion.



operation (countable and uncountable, plural operations)

  1. The method by which a device performs its function.
    It is dangerous to look at the beam of a laser while it is in operation.
  2. The method or practice by which actions are done.
  3. The act or process of operating; agency; the exertion of power, physical, mechanical, or moral.
  4. A planned undertaking.
    The police ran an operation to get vagrants off the streets.
    The Katrina relief operation was considered botched.
  5. A business or organization.
    We run our operation from a storefront.
    They run a multinational produce-supply operation.
  6. (medicine) A surgical procedure.
    She had an operation to remove her appendix.
    • 1750, W[illiam] Ellis, The Country Housewife's Family Companion [] , London: James Hodges; B. Collins, →OCLC, page 157:
      This done, ſhe performs the very ſame Operation on the other Side of the Cock's Body, and there takes out the other Stone; then ſhe ſtitches up the Wounds, and lets the Fowl go about as at other Times, till the Capon is fatted in a Coup, which is commonly done from Chriſtmas to Candlemas, and after.
  7. (computing, logic, mathematics) A procedure for generating a value from one or more other values (the operands);
    (mathematics, more formally) a function which maps zero or more (but typically two) operands to a single output value.
    The number of operands associated with an operation is called its arity; an operation of arity 2 is called a binary operation.
  8. (military) A military campaign (e.g. Operation Desert Storm)
  9. (obsolete) Effect produced; influence.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, edited by James Nichols, The Church History of Britain, [], new edition, volumes (please specify |volume=I to III), London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, →OCLC:
      The bards [] had great operation on the vulgar.
      The spelling has been modernized.


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]


  • Japanese: オペレーション (operēshon)
  • Scottish Gaelic: opairèisean



Further reading[edit]




operation (plural operationes)

  1. operation (surgical procedure)

Middle French[edit]


operation f (plural operations)

  1. function; role
    • 1595, Michel de Montaigne, Essais:
      C'est tesmoignage de crudité et indigestion que de regorger la viande comme on l'a avallée. L'estomac n'a pas faict son operation, s'il n'a faict changer la façon et la forme a ce qu'on luy avoit donné à cuire.
      It's testament of rawness and indigestion when one regurgitates meat in the same state as one swallowed it. The stomach hasn't done its function if it hasn't change the shape and the form of what one has given it to cook.



From Latin operātiō.


This entry needs pronunciation information. If you are familiar with the IPA then please add some!


operation c

  1. an operation (planned undertaking)
  2. (medicine) an operation
  3. (mathematics) an operation
  4. (military) an operation


Declension of operation 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative operation operationen operationer operationerna
Genitive operations operationens operationers operationernas