indirect object

noun

Definition of indirect object

: a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that occurs in addition to a direct object after some verbs and indicates the person or thing that receives what is being given or done : the person or thing that the action of a verb is performed for or directed to
  • In the sentences "She bought him a present," "He gave all four walls a new coat of paint," and "Ask me a question," "him," "all four walls," and "me" are indirect objects and "a present," "a new coat of paint," and "a question" are direct objects.
Note: Verbs that can take indirect objects are called ditransitive verbs.

Examples of indirect object in a Sentence

  1. In “He gave me the book,” the direct object is “book” and the indirect object is “me.”

Recent Examples of indirect object from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'indirect object.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of indirect object

1879

in the meaning defined above

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INDIRECT OBJECT Defined for English Language Learners

indirect object

Definition of indirect object for English Language Learners

  • grammar : a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that occurs in addition to a direct object after some verbs and indicates the person or thing that receives what is being given or done


INDIRECT OBJECT Defined for Kids

indirect object

noun

Definition of indirect object for Students

: an object that represents the person or thing that receives what is being given or done
  • The word “me” in “you gave me the book” is an indirect object.

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