Pronunciation: (op'ur-u-tiv, op'ru-tiv, op'u-rā"tiv), [key]
1. a person engaged, employed, or skilled in some branch of work, esp. productive or industrial work; worker.
2. a detective.
3. a secret agent; spy.
1. operating, or exerting force, power, or influence.
2. having force; being in effect or operation: laws operative in this city.
3. effective or efficacious.
4. engaged in, concerned with, or pertaining to work or productive activity.
5. significant; key: The operative word in that sentence is “sometimes.”
6. Med.concerned with, involving, or pertaining to surgical operations.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.