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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).



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.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Locke and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The pain and sickness caused by manna are the effects of its operation on the stomach.
    • (Can we date this quote by Dryden and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Speculative painting, without the assistance of manual operation, can never attain to perfection.
  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.
  7. (computing, logic, mathematics) a procedure for generating a value from one or more other values (the operands).
  8. (military) A military campaign (e.g. Operation Desert Storm)
  9. (obsolete) Effect produced; influence.
    • (Can we date this quote by Fuller and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The bards [] had great operation on the vulgar.


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.