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the operative word

The word in a statement that is most important in understanding its intended or true meaning. The police released a statement saying they have not yet filed any charges. The operative word being "yet."
See also: operative, word
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the ˌoperative ˈword

used to emphasize that a particular word or phrase is the most important one in a sentence: I was in love with her — ‘was’ being the operative word.
See also: operative, word
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
He noted that a committee has been established to monitor the activities of the Task Force, saying that where there are infractions, the operatives would be sanctioned.
Concurrently, Operative is launching a "User Council" for media companies including NBCUniversal in order to advance the Premium at Scale initiative.
Post operative nutritional care plays a crucial role in wound healing specially in pediatric population1.
The research has shown that according to the perception of the members of co- operatives leadership is necessary for a successful running a co-operative and co-operative development.
A "cost minimization analysis" was done using cost to society, which included inpatient stay, lost wages, and time to recovery, in addition to the operative costs.
Jawbreaker (the title comes from the name of Berntsen's team of Agency operatives) makes clear that from the outset U.S.
The first study to examine how many pulls are safe during operative vaginal delivery compared outcomes after successful operative vaginal delivery, failed operative vaginal delivery followed by C-section, or labor and C-section alone in 399 term singleton pregnancies with complete dilatation after 3 hours in the second stage of labor.
If employers after the war were more readily embracing the "humanizing" supply-side practices of welfare/efficiency linkages, it was primarily because they were regurgitating attitudes presented by government, academics and various official enquiries--stimulated by the dramatic decline in war and post-war building productivity levels--rather than responding directly to operative demands.
Despite the inherent difficulties in using a minor operative, such sting operations have met with success.
One practical and effective way of improving this document is to incorporate template operative note, prepared by consensus of surgeons and customized to include pertinent details of the very procedure.
A questionnaire was filled on the spot that included questions about formal teaching and operative notes, either they should be hand written or typed, how operative notes were learned, knowledge about any guideline, counselling about syntax to be avoided in writing, record of swab and instrument count, opinion about possible implications and need of standard national guidelines.
A multi-disciplinary team is established, including the vice president for operative services, the nursing and medical directors of the operating rooms, the director of information systems, the chairs of anesthesia and surgery, a vice president of finance, and the chief medical officer.
Results of three studies in recent years show that risks increase significantly with attempted operative vaginal delivery if the mother has been pushing in labor for longer than 3 hours or if the physician pulls more than three times on the fetus with forceps or a vacuum extractor, Dr.
But instead of taking this tip and reporting the hell out of it--calling everyone who might have been in on the conference call and tracking as many GOP operatives on or near military bases as he could find--Tapper just drops it in for a half page at the end of a chapter and writes that the lack of subpoena power prevents him from tracking it any further.
In this role, Flowers will also chair the Co-operative Bank plc and The Co- operative Insurance.
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