Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Not working or functioning.
  • adj. No longer in force; countermanded: declared the previous instructions inoperative.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. not working or functioning; either idle or broken
  • adj. No longer legally binding

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Not operative; not active; producing no effects

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Not operative or operating; destitute of activity or of effect; inert: as, laws rendered inoperative by neglect; inoperative remedies.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. not working or taking effect

Etymologies

in- +‎ operative. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • “Dallas pays ACS [the camera provider] a guaranteed $3,799 per month for each operational camera, and just a fraction of that to maintain inoperative cameras.”

    Your City Needs You to Blow Through Red Lights - Freakonomics Blog - NYTimes.com

  • This aspect of aesthetic community is not the same as what another French philosopher, Jean-Luc Nancy, terms the "inoperative community," the longing for the original idea of community that was lost or broken in the transition to modernity, the dialectic of what sociologists term Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft.

    Vince Carducci: Aesthetic Community in Detroit

  • I'm not sure why the creators of the site felt the need to sneer at attempts to revive the language "The good folk of Adelaide will not accept the learning of an ancient language as a substitute for English because of sentimental reasons"—or why the site renders my Back button inoperative, which is extremely annoying—but it's an interesting enough site I'm posting it anyway.

    languagehat.com: KAURNA WARRA.

  • Long, however, before mesmerism was heard of, medical history attests examples in which patients who baffled the skill of the ablest physicians have fixed their fancies on some remedy that physicians would call inoperative for good or for harm, and have recovered by the remedies thus singularly self-suggested.

    A Strange Story — Volume 08

  • In the case Thursday, Sullenberger was forced to glide because both engines were inoperative, which is highly unusual.

    Top Stories - Google News

  • There is every indication that he will find language the satisfies him that his referendum pledge is "inoperative," as Richard Nixon once said about his promises.

    Giving Up Sovereignty Is a High Price to Save a Currency U.K. Never Adopted

  • Administrations make language of past Administrations on certain issues 'inoperative'. 15 years after Reagan no one was repeating his cant about "the beloved Holy Mujahadeen Freedom Fighters" of Afghanistan.

    "Barack Obama extended the olive branch to Iran's leaders last Friday in a videotaped message praising a 'great civilization'..."

  • His own aides embarrassed him last November by failing to give him the full details of Cheney's latest heart attack; Bush went before the cameras to offer blithe assurances that were later rendered "inoperative," as they said in Dick Nixon's days.

    Right From The Start

  • This was before the Justice Department voter suppression scandals broke, so I guess that promise is "inoperative" now, just like the promises the GOP made after caging scandals targeting minority voters in New Jersey and Louisiana 2 decades ago.

    Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.: Voting Foreclosure

  • In one sweeping statement, Mises has negated Christendom and every social, economic, and moral teaching of the Catholic Church; this statement also renders "inoperative" the entire Classical moral and philosophical tradition.

    Corporation Christendom Part One

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Comments

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  • This word was used a lot on Star Trek when something wasn't working.

    August 29, 2013