To perform a work or labor; to exert power or strengh, physical or mechanical; to act.
- To perform a function; work: The motor operates smoothly.
- To perform surgery.
- To exert an influence: forces operating on the economy.
- To produce a desired or proper effect: a drug that operates quickly.
- To carry on a military or naval action or campaign.
- Informal To conduct business in an irregular or devious manner: drug dealers operating in residential and urban areas.
- To control the functioning of; run: operate a sewing machine.
- To conduct the affairs of; manage: operate a business.