Having the power of acting; hence, exerting force, physical or moral; active in the production of effects; as, an operative motive.
- Being in effect; having force; operating: "Two major tendencies are operative in the American political system” ( Heinz Eulau).
- Functioning effectively; efficient.
- Engaged in or concerned with physical or mechanical activity.
- Of, relating to, or resulting from a surgical operation.
- Significant; most important; key: The operative word is "low-fat.”
- A skilled worker, especially in industry.
- A secret agent; a spy.
- A private investigator.
- One who works for a political organization, often wielding influence out of public view.