Definition for OP'ER-ATE

OP'ER-ATE, v.i. [L. operor; Sp. operar; Fr. operer; Eth. ገብረ gaber, to make, do, form or ordain; deriv. ተገበረ tagabar, to work, to operate, to labor, to till; W. goberu, to operate; Arm. ober or gober, to make; ober or euffr, work; Ir. obair; Sp. and Port. obra; Fr. œuvre, ouvrage. The corresponding verb in Hebrew and Chaldee, גבר signifies to be strong, to prevail, and in Arabic, to bind fast, to consolidate, to repair. The primary sense is to strain or press, to exert force. Class Br, No. 14.]

  1. To act; to exert power or strength, physical or mechanical. External bodies operate on animals by means of perception. Sound operates upon the auditory nerves through the medium of air. Medicines operate on the body by increasing or diminishing organic action.
  2. To act or produce effect on the mind; to exert moral power or influence. Motives operate on the mind in determining the judgment. Examples operate in producing imitation. The virtues of private persons operate but on a few. Atterbury. A plain convincing reason operates on the mind both of a learned and an ignorant hearer as long as he lives. Swift.
  3. In surgery, to perform some manual act in a methodical manner upon a human body, and usually with instruments, with a view to restore soundness or health; as in amputation, lithotomy and the like.
  4. To act; to have agency; to produce any effect.

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