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5 definitions found
 for operative
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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 principles. --South.
        [1913 Webster]
     2. Producing the appropriate or designed effect; efficacious;
        effective; as, an operative dose, rule, or penalty.
        [1913 Webster]
     3. (Surg.) Based upon, or consisting of, an operation or
        operations; as, operative surgery.
        [1913 Webster]

From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  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.

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      adj 1: being in force or having or exerting force; "operative
             regulations"; "the major tendencies operative in the
             American political system" [ant: inoperative]
      2: relating to or requiring or amenable to treatment by surgery
         especially as opposed to medicine; "a surgical appendix"; "a
         surgical procedure"; "operative dentistry" [syn: surgical,
         operative] [ant: medical]
      3: effective; producing a desired effect; "the operative word"
      4: (of e.g. a machine) performing or capable of performing; "in
         running (or working) order"; "a functional set of brakes"
         [syn: running(a), operative, functional, working(a)]
      n 1: a person secretly employed in espionage for a government
           [syn: secret agent, intelligence officer, intelligence
           agent, operative]
      2: someone who can be employed as a detective to collect
         information [syn: private detective, PI, private eye,
         private investigator, operative, shamus, sherlock]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  134 Moby Thesaurus words for "operative":
     Bow Street runner, CIA man, FBI, FBI agent, Federal, G-man,
     Secret Service, Sherlock Holmes, T-man, accessible, active, actor,
     agent, alive, architect, armipotent, artisan, author,
     authoritative, cloak-and-dagger operative, cogent, conductor,
     counterintelligence agent, counterspy, craftsman, craftswoman,
     creator, detective, doer, double agent, driver, dynamic, effective,
     effectual, efficacious, efficient, employable, employee, energetic,
     engineer, espionage agent, executant, executor, executrix, eye,
     fabricator, fed, forceful, forcible, functional, functionary,
     functioning, go, gumshoe, hand, handler, high-potency,
     high-powered, high-pressure, high-tension, hotel detective,
     house detective, house dick, in force, in power, inquiry agent,
     inside man, intelligence agent, investigator, irresistible,
     laborer, live, machinist, maker, manipulator, mechanic, medium,
     mighty, mighty in battle, military-intelligence man, mover, narc,
     naval-intelligence man, operant, operation, operational, operator,
     performer, perpetrator, pilot, plainclothesman, police detective,
     potent, powerful, practicable, practical, practitioner, prepotent,
     prime mover, private detective, private eye, private investigator,
     producer, puissant, reconnoiterer, revenuer, roustabout, ruling,
     runner, running, scout, secret agent, shamus, sleuth, spotter, spy,
     spy-catcher, steersman, store detective, striking, strong, subject,
     telling, treasury agent, undercover man, usable, valid, vigorous,
     vital, worker, workhand, working, workingman, workman

From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :

  OPERATIVE. A workman; one employed to perform labor for another.
       2. This word is used in the bankrupt law of 19th August, 1841, s. 5, 
  which directs that any person who shall have performed any labor as an 
  operative in the service of any bankrupt shall be entitled to receive the 
  full amount of wages due to him for such labor, not exceeding twenty-five 
  dollars; provided that such labor shall have been performed within six 
  months next before the bankruptcy of his employer. 
       3. Under this act it has been decided that an apprentice who had done 
  work beyond a task allotted to him by his master, commonly called overwork, 
  under an agreement on the part of the master to pay for such work, was 
  entitled as an operative. 1 Penn. Law Journ. 368. See 3 Rob. Adm. R. 237; 2 
  Cranch, 240 270. 

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