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Pronunciation: op'er-at


  1. To work on the body by the hands or by means of cutting or other instrument.
  2. To perform a surgical procedure.
  3. To cause a movement of the bowels; said of a laxative or cathartic remedy.
  4. Used to describe the action of using an instrument to achieve a diagnostic or therapeutic endpoint (to operate an instrument).

[L. operor, pp. -atus, to work, fr. opus, work]

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.