Operating to produce effects; effective.
1. One that operates.
2. Psychology A behavior that is engaged in to produce consequences; the behavior that is reinforced in operant conditioning.
[Latin operāns, operant-, present participle of operārī, to work; see OPERATE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.