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 Dictionary entry overview: What does operational mean? 

OPERATIONAL (adjective)
  The adjective OPERATIONAL has 4 senses:

1. pertaining to a process or series of actions for achieving a result
2. fit or ready for use or service
3. of or intended for or involved in military operations
4. being in effect or operation

  Familiarity information: OPERATIONAL used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

OPERATIONAL (adjective)

Sense 1operational [BACK TO TOP]


Pertaining to a process or series of actions for achieving a result

Classified under:

Relational adjectives (pertainyms)

Context examples:

operational difficulties / they assumed their operational positions


operation (a process or series of acts especially of a practical or mechanical nature involved in a particular form of work)

Sense 2operational [BACK TO TOP]


Fit or ready for use or service


useable; in working order; operable; operational; usable; functional

Context examples:

the toaster was still functional even after being dropped / the lawnmower is a bit rusty but still usable / an operational aircraft / the dishwasher is now in working order


serviceable (ready for service or able to give long service)

Sense 3operational [BACK TO TOP]


Of or intended for or involved in military operations


active; combat-ready; fighting (engaged in or ready for military or naval operations)

effective (ready for service)

Domain category:

armed forces; armed services; military; military machine; war machine (the military forces of a nation)


nonoperational (not involved in military operations)

Sense 4operational [BACK TO TOP]


Being in effect or operation


in operation; operating; operational

Context examples:

de facto apartheid is still operational even in the 'new' African nations / bus service is in operation during the emergency / the company had several operating divisions


operative (being in force or having or exerting force)

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