operateop·e·rate /ˈɒpəreɪtˈɑː-/ verb 1[transitiveT] to use and control a machine or equipment
the software necessary to operate the machine
2[intransitiveI]MANUFACTURING if a machine, factory etc operates in a particular way, it works in that way operate in/at
The factory will operate at half capacity for about two months.
3[intransitiveI] if a business, system etc operates in a particular way, it works in that way
differences between the way the two countries’ economies operate
The company will continue to operate as an independent subsidiary.
4[intransitiveI] if a business, system etc operates in or from a particular place, it is based there or offers goods or services from there operate in/from/out of
a discount chain operating in the Mid-Atlantic region
a new airline operating out of St Petersburg
5[transitiveT]COMMERCE if a person or organization operates a business, system etc, they manage it and make it work
He operates a trucking business in Norway.
the costs of operating the plant