1. Having the power of acting; hence, exerting force, physical or moral; active in the production of effects; as, an operative motive. "It holds in all operative principles." (South)

2. Producing the appropriate or designed effect; efficacious; as, an operative dose, rule, or penalty.

3. <surgery> Based upon, or consisting of, an operation or operations; as, operative surgery.

Origin: Cf.L. Operativus, F. Operatif.

(01 Mar 1998)