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Active vs Operative vs Dynamic vs Live

Active, operative, dynamic and live are synonymous when they mean being at work or in effective action.

Active in general may be employed wherever the others are applicable, but it is also usable where none of the others would be appropriate. It may qualify anything that shows its nature or its existence in acts, in action, or in work.

  • an active volcano
  • an active brain
  • active sympathy

And it is applicable to anything which can be worked, operated, manipulated, or wielded.

  • an active pen
  • a mine still active after fifty years of mining

It is also applicable to an agent, an operator, an instrument, a means or to something accomplished by any such agency.

  • active enforcement of the law
  • an active propagandist
  • an active search for truth

Active may imply little more action or movement or exertion than shown in a state that is not death, rest, or inertness.

  • his pulse is low, but his heart is still active

Oor it may, and usually does, imply vigor and energy in action or movement.

  • an active market
  • an active writer
  • the active stage of a disease

Often it suggests causation or activation.

  • the active principle in a drug

In contrast with active operative is applicable only to things (as a principle, motive, emotion) that have a capacity for acting, working, or effecting ends or to those (as laws) that can be put into operation.

  • when strict ethical principles are operative in society, men may expect the millennium
  • the rule has been operative since January first

Operative usually is weaker in its implication of effectiveness; one’s sense of duty is operative when it in any degree influences one’s thoughts or actions; it is active when it serves as a spur to action or is the determinant of one’s actions.

Dynamic stresses the realization of the potential in something: it therefore often connotes release of great energy and consequent forcefulness; a dynamic personality is one that exhibits great power and exerts a great influence; love is a dynamic emotion when it sweeps away all that would obstruct its movement.

Live is also applicable to persons, personalities, principles, laws, emotions, and motives. It stresses vitality and modernity more than forcibleness and, when used of persons, intelligent awareness of present conditions or needs and progressiveness more than effectiveness.

  • Steve had in him the making of a live man of affairs