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  1. [noun] a person secretly employed in espionage for a government
    Synonyms: secret agent, intelligence officer, intelligence agent

  2. [noun] someone who can be employed as a detective to collect information
    Synonyms: private detective, PI, private eye, private investigator, shamus, sherlock

  3. [adjective] being in force or having or exerting force; "operative regulations"; "the major tendencies operative in the American political system"

  4. [adjective] of or relating to a surgical operation; "operative surgery"

  5. [adjective] relating to or requiring or amenable to treatment by surgery especially as opposed to medicine; "a surgical appendix"; "a surgical procedure"; "operative dentistry"
    Synonyms: surgical

  6. [adjective] effective; producing a desired effect; "the operative word"
    Synonyms: key

  7. [adjective] (of e.g. a machine) performing or capable of performing; "in running (or working) order"; "a functional set of brakes"
    Synonyms: running, functional, working


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