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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Usage statistics for the noun operation:

spoken English27.43%written English72.57% imaginative writing16.94%informational writing83.06%

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun operation:


Operation is a member of the word family cooperate, included in the Academic Word List by Dr. Averil Coxhead, which contains the 570 most frequent word families used in academic texts from a variety of subject areas, of interest for students that learn the words most needed to study at tertiary institutions.

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Definition of the noun operation

What does operation mean as a name of something?

Operation is one of the top 1000 most common nouns. It is used mostly in informational writing, being one of the top 1000 most common nouns in informational written English.

noun - plural: operations

  1. the state of being in effect or being operative
    • example: that rule is no longer in operation
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • more generic words: action / activeness / activity = the state of being active
    • more specific words:
      • commission = the state of being in good working order and ready for operation
      • running = the state of being in operation
      • idle = the state of an engine or other mechanism that is idling
  2. a business especially one run on a large scale
    • examples: a large-scale farming operation | a multinational operation | they paid taxes on every stage of the operation | they had to consolidate their operations
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic terms: business activity / commercial activity = activity undertaken as part of a commercial enterprise
  3. a planned activity involving many people performing various actions
    • examples: they organized a rescue operation | the biggest police operation in French history | running a restaurant is quite an operation | consolidate the companies various operations
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • more generic word: activity = any specific behavior
    • more specific terms:
  4. (computer science) data processing in which the result is completely specified by a rule (especially the processing that results from a single instruction)
  5. activity by a military or naval force (as a maneuver or campaign)
  6. a medical procedure involving an incision with instruments; performed to repair damage or arrest disease in a living body
    • example: they will schedule the operation as soon as an operating room is available
    • domain: surgery
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonyms of operation: surgery / surgical operation / surgical procedure / surgical process
    • more generic term: medical procedure = a procedure employed by medical or dental practitioners
    • more specific terms:
      • catheterisation / catheterization = the operation of introducing a catheter into the body
      • cutting out / extirpation / ablation / excision = surgical removal of a body part or tissue
      • amputation = a surgical removal of all or part of a limb
      • angioplasty = an operation to repair a damaged blood vessel or unblock a coronary artery
      • arthroplasty = surgical reconstruction or replacement of a malformed or degenerated joint
      • arthroscopy = a minimally invasive operation to repair a damaged joint
      • brain surgery = any surgical procedure involving the brain
      • castration = surgical removal of the testes or ovaries
      • cauterisation / cauterization / cautery = the act of coagulating blood and destroying tissue with a hot iron or caustic agent or by freezing
      • chemosurgery = use of chemical to destroy diseased or malignant tissue
      • craniotomy = a surgical opening through the skull
      • cryosurgery = the use of extreme cold (usually liquid nitrogen) to destroy unwanted tissue
      • curettement / curettage = surgery to remove tissue or growths from a bodily cavity (as the uterus) by scraping with a curette
      • debridement = surgical removal of foreign material and dead tissue from a wound in order to prevent infection and promote healing
      • decortication = removal of the outer covering of an organ or part
      • dilatation and curettage / dilation and curettage / D and C = a surgical procedure usually performed under local anesthesia in which the cervix is dilated and the endometrial lining of the uterus is scraped with a curet
      • electrosurgery = surgery performed with electrical devices
      • enterostomy / enterotomy = surgical operation that creates a permanent opening through the abdominal wall into the intestine
      • enucleation = surgical removal of something without cutting into it
      • wrong-site surgery = a surgical operation performed on the wrong part of the body
      • evisceration = surgical removal of an organ (or the contents of an organ) from a patient
      • exenteration = surgical removal of the organs within a body cavity
      • eye operation / eye surgery = any surgical procedure involving the eyes
      • fenestration = surgical procedure that creates a new fenestra to the cochlea in order to restore hearing lost because of osteosclerosis
      • gastrectomy = surgical removal of all or part of the stomach
      • gastroenterostomy = surgical creation of an opening between the stomach wall and the small intestines
      • gastrostomy = surgical creation of an opening through the abdominal wall into the stomach
      • heart surgery = any surgical procedure involving the heart
      • haemorrhoidectomy / hemorrhoidectomy = surgical procedure for tying hemorrhoids and excising them
      • hysterotomy = surgical incision into the uterus
      • implantation = a surgical procedure that places something in the human body
      • intestinal bypass = surgical operation that shortens the small intestine
      • jejunostomy = surgical creation of an opening between the jejunum and the anterior abdominal wall
      • major surgery = any surgical procedure that involves anesthesia or respiratory assistance
      • microsurgery = surgery using operating microscopes and miniaturized precision instruments to perform intricate procedures on very small structures
      • minor surgery = any surgical procedure that does not involve anesthesia or respiratory assistance
      • myotomy = surgical incision or division of a muscle
      • myringectomy = surgical removal of the eardrum
      • myringoplasty = surgical repair of a perforated eardrum with a tissue graft
      • myringotomy = surgical incision into the eardrum
      • neurosurgery = any surgery that involves the nervous system
      • orchiopexy = operation to bring an undescended testicle into the scrotum
      • osteotomy = surgical sectioning of bone
      • ostomy = surgical procedure that creates an artificial opening for the elimination of bodily wastes
      • uvulopalatopharyngoplasty / palatopharyngoplasty / UPPP / PPP = surgical resection of unnecessary palatal and oropharyngeal tissue to open the airway
      • phlebectomy = surgical removal or all or part of a vein
      • photocoagulation = surgical procedure that uses an intense laser beam to destroy diseased retinal tissue or to make a scar that will hold the retina in cases of detached retina
      • reconstructive surgery / plastic surgery / anaplasty = surgery concerned with therapeutic or cosmetic reformation of tissue
      • polypectomy = surgical removal of a polyp
      • resection = surgical removal of part of a structure or organ
      • rhinotomy = surgical procedure in which an incision is made in the nose to drain accumulated pus
      • rhizotomy = surgical procedure in which spinal nerve roots are cut
      • sex-change operation / transsexual surgery = surgical procedures and hormonal treatments designed to alter a person's sexual characteristics so that the resemble those of the opposite sex
      • purse-string operation / Shirodkar's operation = a surgical procedure in which a suture is used to close the cervix in a pregnant woman
      • sterilisation / sterilization = the act of making an organism barren or infertile
      • strabotomy = the surgical operation of cutting a muscle or tendon of the eye in order to correct strabismus
      • taxis = the surgical procedure of manually restoring a displaced body part
      • tracheostomy / tracheotomy = a surgical operation that creates an opening into the trachea with a tube inserted to provide a passage for air
      • organ transplant / transplantation / transplant = an operation moving an organ from one organism (the donor) to another
      • trephination = an operation that removes a circular section of bone from the skull
      • tympanoplasty = surgical correction or repair of defects or injuries in the eardrum or the bones of the middle ear
      • uranoplasty = surgical correction of a defect of the palate
      • vasovasostomy = a surgical procedure that attempts to restore the function of the vas deferens after a vasectomy
      • vivisection = the act of operating on living animals
    • parts:
  7. a process or series of acts especially of a practical or mechanical nature involved in a particular form of work
    • examples: the operations in building a house | certain machine tool operations
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonym of operation: procedure
    • more generic word: work = activity directed toward making or doing something
  8. process or manner of functioning or operating
    • examples: the power of its engine determines its operation | the plane's operation in high winds
    • lexical domain: Natural Processes - nouns denoting natural processes
    • synonyms of operation: functioning / performance
    • more generic terms: physical process / process = a sustained phenomenon or one marked by gradual changes through a series of states
  9. (psychology) the performance of some composite cognitive activity; an operation that affects mental contents
  10. (mathematics) calculation by mathematical methods
    • example: they were learning the basic operations of arithmetic
    • domain: math / mathematics / maths
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonyms of operation: mathematical operation / mathematical process
    • more generic words: calculation / computation / computing = the procedure of calculating
    • more specific terms:
      • permutation = the act of changing the arrangement of a given number of elements
      • combination = the act of arranging elements into specified groups without regard to order
      • differentiation = the mathematical process of obtaining the derivative of a function
      • maximization = the mathematical process of finding the maximum value of a function
      • integration = an operation used in the calculus whereby the integral of a function is determined
      • exponentiation / involution = the process of raising a quantity to some assigned power
      • arithmetic operation = a mathematical operation involving numbers
      • matrix operation = a mathematical operation involving matrices
      • construction = drawing a figure satisfying certain conditions as part of solving a problem or proving a theorem
      • relaxation method / relaxation = a method of solving simultaneous equations by guessing a solution and then reducing the errors that result by successive approximations until all the errors are less than some specified amount
  11. the activity of operating something (a machine or business etc.)


  1. Operation is a battery-operated game of physical skill that tests players' hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills. The game's prototype was invented in 1964 by John Spinello, a University of Illinois industrial design student at the time, who sold his rights to the game to Milton Bradley for a sum of USD $500.
    • publisher: Milton Bradley Company
    • released in (50 years ago)
  2. "Operation" is a video game.
    • genre: Action game


  1. "Operation" is a 1998 short film comedy written and directed by Jason Reitman.
  2. "Operation" a.k.a. "Opération" is a 2010 short film written and directed by Hugo Matte.
  3. "Operation" is a short film.
  4. "Operation" is a film, directed by Jane Kavcic.
    • also known as Akcija
    • starring: Polde Bibič as Sergej
    • released in (55 years ago)


  1. "Operation" is a book by Barbara Park.
    • genres: Children's literature, Fiction
    • subject: Family
  2. "OPERATION" is a book by Caroline B. Cooney.
    • genres: Fiction, Children's literature, Speculative fiction
    • copyright: 1992-08-01


  1. "Operation" is a musical album of Birth Control.
    • released in (44 years ago)
  2. "Operation" is a composition.
  3. "Operation" is a composition.


Operation is a musical group.

  • album: "Frihet?"


  1. Operation: In its simplest meaning in mathematics and logic, an operation is an action or procedure which produces a new value from one or more input values, called "operands". There are two common types of operations: unary and binary. Unary operations involve only one value, such as negation and trigonometric functions. Binary operations, on the other hand, take two values, and include addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and exponentiation.
    • also known as การดำเนินการ (คณิตศาสตร์), 运算
  2. Operation is a radio spot.

Phrases with Operation

Phrases starting with the word Operation:

  1. operation code
  2. Operation of law

Phrases ending with the word Operation:

  1. in operation
  2. eye operation
  3. Set Operation
  4. Grow Operation
  5. Unit operation
  6. black operation
  7. logic operation
  8. overt operation
  9. sting operation
  10. unary operation
  11. binary operation
  12. covert operation
  13. dyadic operation
  14. martyr operation
  15. matrix operation
  16. rescue operation
  17. serial operation
  18. boolean operation

View more phrases with the word Operation in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Operation

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewAdvanced Accounts (Complete) (1997)

by S C Gupta

Foreign operation is a subsidiary2, associate3, joint venture 4or branch of the reporting enterprise, the activities of which...

Net investment in a non-integral foreign operation is the reporting enterprise's share in the net assets of that operation.

Google previewQuantitative Geography (2000)

Perspectives on Spatial Data Analysis by A Stewart Fotheringham, Chris Brunsdon, Martin Charlton

Proximity A related operation is the computation of the proximity of objects in one layer to objects in another. Typically, one layer will be point data, and the other layer will be point or line or polygon data. The output from such an operation ...

Google previewScientific Sales Management Today (2000)

by Charles Wilson Hoyt

Authority co-operation is the co-operation within the ownership unit, whether this be the family, a small factory, or a nation-wide corporation. Agreement co- operation is that which is effected and carried out by explicit agreement between ...

Google previewAlgorithms, Concurrency and Knowledge (1995)

1995 Asian Computing Science Conference, ACSC '95 Pathumthani, Thailand, December 11 - 13, 1995. Proceedings by Kanchana Kanchanasut, Jean-Jacques Levy

Range-join operation is an important operation in relational database systems and appears frequently in practice,

Google previewfarms, land in farms, and livestock operations

An operation is any place having one or more head of cattle on hand at any time during the year. 3 An operation is any place having one or more head of beef cows on hand at any time during the year. Farms, Land in Farms, and Livestock ...

Google previewRuler and the Round (2012)

Classic Problems in Geometric Constructions by Nicholas D. Kazarinoff

st construction operation is a coordinate of the point of intersection of two constructed segments, extended if necessary.

Google previewTheorem Proving in Higher Order Logics (2005)

18th International Conference, TPHOLs 2005, Oxford, UK, August 22-25, 2005, Proceedings by Joe Hurd, Tom Melham

The quotient operation is a standard feature of set theory, where a set is partitioned into subsets by an equivalence relation. We reinterpret this idea for higher order logic, where types are divided by an equivalence relation to create new types, ...

Google previewPaul's Literary Style (2007)

A Stylistic and Historical Comparison of II Corinthians 11:16-12:13, Romans 8:9-39, and Philippians 3:2-4:13 by Aida Besancon Spencer

Operation Nine: Verb Density The ninth operation is the calculation of verb density,118 computed by dividing the number of verbals by the number of finite verbs. Only a finite verb is capable of serving as a predicate. The verbal is used with ...

Google previewD-Day Encyclopedia (2014)

Everything You Want to Know About the Normandy Invasion by Barrett Tillman

The Luftwaffe also made history in the first aerial occupation of an island—the costly Crete operation in 1941. However, Germany's Pyrrhic victory proved so costly that no Fallschirmjaeger division was again involved in a major airborne ...

Google previewHistorical Dictionary of British Foreign Policy (2013)

by Peter Neville

As it was under the code name “Operation Manhattan,” British research was subsumed into the American program. Both parties agreed not to pass nuclear research on to third parties without the other partner's consent, or to use the research ...

Google previewEncyclopedia of White Power (2000)

A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right by Jeffrey Kaplan

the letters as terrorist threats and triggering a wide-ranging crackdown code-named Operation Clean Sweep. Operation Clean Sweep targeted not only the Committee of the ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Operation

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Photos about Operation

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View more pictures about Operation Cleansweep.

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Have an operationSmall photo of RIVER FALLS,WISCONSIN-FEBRUARY 03,2015: A vintage Nineteen Sixties Operation game. Operation was initially produced by Milton Bradley in Nineteen Sixty Five.Small photo of Preparation for the beginning of surgical operation with a cutSmall photo of Group of surgeons at work in operating theater toned in blue. Medical team performing operationSmall photo of Group of surgeons in masks performing operation. Scene of operation room colored in green. Medicine, surgery and emergency help conceptsSmall photo of surgery, medicine and people concept - group of surgeons at operation in operating room at hospitalSmall photo of Surgical doctor in full concentration on operation working diligently More...

Video language resources about Operation

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View more videos about Set Operation, The Operation, Unit operation, Black operation, Unary operation, Binary operation, Dyadic Operation, and Arithmetic Operation.

See also the pronunciation examples of Operation!

Sign language

Monkey has an operation preview - American Sign Language

Monkey - the cute and cuddly companion - is off to the hospital because he needs an operation. While he's there he'll meet lots of new people, but who are they ...

Quotes about Operation

If co-operation is a duty, I hold that non-co-operation also under certain conditions is equally a duty. (Mohandas Gandhi)
more quotes about operation...

Scrabble value of O1P3E1R1A1T1I1O1N1

The value of this 9-letter word is 11 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

Anagrams of OPERATION

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See also the blanagrams of Operation!

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