|1.||[ adjective ] being in force or having or exerting force|
"operative regulations" "the major tendencies operative in the American political system"
|Related terms:||inoperative effective operational at_work working at_work|
|2.||[ noun ] a person secretly employed in espionage for a government|
|Synonyms:||intelligence_officer intelligence_agent secret_agent|
|Related terms:||agent spy foot bridge_agent agent-in-place codetalker case_officer noc walk-in agent_provocateur|
|3.||[ adjective ] (of e.g. a machine) performing or capable of performing|
|Synonyms:||working functional running|
"in running (or working) order" "a functional set of brakes"
|4.||[ adjective ] (surgery) relating to or requiring or amenable to treatment by surgery especially as opposed to medicine|
"a surgical appendix" "a surgical procedure" "operative dentistry"
|Related terms:||medical preoperative postoperative|
|5.||[ adjective ] effective; producing a desired effect|
"the operative word"
|6.||[ adjective ] (surgery) of or relating to a surgical operation|
|7.||[ noun ] (work) someone who can be employed as a detective to collect information|
|Synonyms:||private_eye private_detective private_investigator sherlock shamus PI|
|Related terms:||detective store_detective inquiry_agent hotel_detective|