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operate against (someone or something)
To work to the detriment or disadvantage of someone or something; to produce a negative impact or effect on someone or something. Contrary to the way it was billed, the new tax law operates against most middle- and lower-class workers. All of the boss's decisions have been operating against our project lately.
operate from (some place)
To be established in a particular place from which one works or operates. I've been operating from the guest room in our house ever since I started writing as a freelancer. We operated from a tiny office on the lower East Side until we got enough money together to rent a better space.
1. To perform surgery on someone or an animal. The doctors are operating on me tomorrow morning, so I'm not allowed to eat or drink anything before then. They had to operate on my dog because something had become lodged in his intestines.
2. To work on or tinker with something. Tom's in the living room operating on the television, but I'm not holding my breath that he can fix it. Before you go operating on the washing machine, why don't you troubleshoot what's wrong with it.
3. To have some established stance, position, or viewpoint from which someone or something functions. If you operate on the assumption that people are trying to take advantage of you, then you'll never make any meaningful connections with anyone. We've always operated on the belief that superior customer service will allow us to compete with the bigger corporations we've been competing with.
operate out of (some place)
To be established in a particular place from which one works or operates. I've been operating out of the guest room in our house ever since I started writing as a freelancer. We operated out of a tiny office on the lower East Side until we got enough money together to rent a better space.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
operate against someone or something
to work against someone or something; to have a negative effect on someone or something. All of this operates against our idea affixing the garage up as a family room. The new vacation policy operates against my plan to take all of July off.
operate from something
to work out of something or some place. I'm in business for myself. I operate from my home. We operate from a garage in the back of City Hall.
operate on someone
to perform a surgical operation on someone. They decided not to operate on her. She wasn't operated on after all.
operate on something
1. to work on something; to work with the insides of something. (As a surgeon might operate.) He tried to operate on his watch and ruined it. Todd operated on the door lock and fixed it.
2. to function or conduct business on a certain principle or assumption. The company has always operated on the theory that the customer is always right. Sam operates on the assumption that everyone is out to get him.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.