Definition - operative

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  1. being in force or having or exerting force; "operative regulations"; "the major tendencies operative in the American political system"
  2. someone who can be employed as a detective to collect information
  3. (of e.g. a machine) performing or capable of performing; "in running (or working) order"; "a functional set of brakes"
  4. a person secretly employed in espionage for a government
  5. relating to or requiring or amenable to treatment by surgery especially as opposed to medicine; "a surgical appendix"; "a surgical procedure"; "operative dentistry"
  6. effective; producing a desired effect; "the operative word"