(of a word) Having the most relevance or significance in a phrase or sentence
a young man, and the operative word is young, should go into the armed services at around seventeen
Of or relating to surgery
they had wounds needing operative treatment
A worker, esp. a skilled one in a manufacturing industry
A private detective or secret agent
being in force or having or exerting force; "operative regulations"; "the major tendencies operative in the American political system"
secret agent: a person secretly employed in espionage for a government
private detective: someone who can be employed as a detective to collect information
surgical: relating to or requiring or amenable to treatment by surgery especially as opposed to medicine; "a surgical appendix"; "a surgical procedure"; "operative dentistry"
effective; producing a desired effect; "the operative word"
running(a): (of e.g. a machine) performing or capable of performing; "in running (or working) order"; "a functional set of brakes"
(operatively) in a manner to produce an effect
This article is about characters in the television series Firefly.
(Operatives) An unlawful combatant or unprivileged combatant/belligerent is a civilian who directly engages in armed conflict in violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and may be detained or prosecuted under the domestic law of the detaining state for such action. ...
An employee or other worker with some particular function or skill; A spy, secret agent, or detective; Effectual or important; Functional, in working order
(operatively) attached / connected to
An older usage: concerned with mechanical or manual work.
An agent working in the field (outside of an office).
An intelligence officer or agent operating in the field.
(Mil.) : A corporate term for one who performs covert operations, eg. a company man.