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.
  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.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, Church-History of Britain
      The bards [] had great operation on the vulgar.


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


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



Further readingEdit




operation (plural operationes)

  1. operation (surgical procedure)

Middle FrenchEdit


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.