object

1 of 3

noun

1
a
: something material that may be perceived by the senses
I see an object in the distance.
b
: something that when viewed stirs a particular emotion (such as pity)
Look on the tragic loading of this bed … the object poisons sight; let it be hid.William Shakespeare
2
a
: something mental or physical toward which thought, feeling, or action is directed
an object for study
the object of my affection
delicately carved art objects
b
: something physical that is perceived by an individual and becomes an agent for psychological identification
The mother is the primary object of the child.
3
a
: the goal or end of an effort or activity : purpose, objective
Their object is to investigate the matter thoroughly.
The object of the game is to score the most points.
b
: a cause for attention or concern
Money is no object.
4
: a thing that forms an element of or constitutes the subject matter of an investigation or science
objects of study
5
a
: a noun or noun equivalent (such as a pronoun, gerund, or clause) denoting the goal or result of the action of a verb (such as ball in I hit the ball)
b
: a noun or noun equivalent in a prepositional phrase (such as table in on the table)
6
a
: a data structure in object-oriented programming that can contain functions (see function entry 1 sense 7) as well as constants, variables, and other data structures
b
: a discrete entity (such as a window or icon) in computer graphics (see graphic entry 2 sense 2b) that can be manipulated independently of other such entities
objectless
ˈäb-jikt-ləs How to pronounce object (audio)
-(ˌ)jekt-
adjective
objectlessness noun

object

2 of 3

verb

ob·​ject əb-ˈjekt How to pronounce object (audio)
objected; objecting; objects

transitive verb

: to put forth in opposition or as an objection
objected that the statement was misleading

intransitive verb

1
: to oppose something firmly and usually with words or arguments
2
: to feel distaste for something
objector noun

object

3 of 3

adjective

: of, relating to, or being object code
an object file
Choose the Right Synonym for object

intention, intent, purpose, design, aim, end, object, objective, goal mean what one intends to accomplish or attain.

intention implies little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about.

announced his intention to marry

intent suggests clearer formulation or greater deliberateness.

the clear intent of the statute

purpose suggests a more settled determination.

being successful was her purpose in life

design implies a more carefully calculated plan.

the order of events came by accident, not design

aim adds to these implications of effort directed toward attaining or accomplishing.

her aim was to raise film to an art form

end stresses the intended effect of action often in distinction or contrast to the action or means as such.

willing to use any means to achieve his end

object may equal end but more often applies to a more individually determined wish or need.

his constant object was the achievement of pleasure

objective implies something tangible and immediately attainable.

their objective is to seize the oil fields

goal suggests something attained only by prolonged effort and hardship.

worked years to reach her goals

Example Sentences

Noun There were three objects in the box: a comb, a pen, and a button. His object is to determine how much the business will cost to operate. Verb No one objected when the paintings were removed. “We can't buy the chair,” he objected. “It won't fit in the car.”
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The user is alerted through sensors and motors that detect objects and send strong or weak vibrations to the hand depending on the object’s proximity. Ebonee Burrell, Orlando Sentinel, 14 Jan. 2023 As a space and object, [Brasília] is a landmark of modernism and Brazilian architecture. Los Angeles Times, 14 Jan. 2023 Two weeks ago, defensive lineman J.J. Watt became the shiny object that mercifully diverted our attention from the ugliness of this Cardinals season. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 8 Jan. 2023 Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office in 1901 without swearing upon any text or object, because the ceremony was rushed through in the wake of President William McKinley's assassination. Bryan Pietsch, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Jan. 2023 Surely working mathematicians had come across this shiny object before and recognized it as fool’s gold. Kevin Hartnett, Quanta Magazine, 3 Jan. 2023 The outlet said anyone found to have damaged an Aboriginal site or object could face a fine equal to $6,700 or up to six months in prison. Jason Hahn, Peoplemag, 21 Dec. 2022 Haley herself is no stranger to oscillating between the purveyor and object of the Republicans’ race-blind strategy. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 7 Nov. 2022 The more important takeaway Saturday is that there is still a large gulf between Georgia and everybody else, including the shiny new object that came to Athens with an aura of unstoppability. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 6 Nov. 2022
Verb
Donald Trump pressured Members of Congress to object to valid slates of electors. . . . Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 9 Jan. 2023 White House visitor logs were cited just three times in the committee’s final report, all in reference to a Dec. 21, 2020, meeting attended by House Republicans planning to object to the certification of the electoral college vote. Patrick Marley, Washington Post, 6 Jan. 2023 Donalds returned the initial favor, voting to object to the certification of Arizona and Pennnsylvania’s 2020 presidential election results. Prem Thakker, The New Republic, 4 Jan. 2023 The idea of a public hearing was a last-ditch effort by the Trump team to give those false claims of a fraudulent election the veneer of legitimacy and hopefully convince members of Congress to object to certifying Biden’s win. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Jan. 2023 Both the offender and victim must be notified and granted an opportunity to object. Jake Zuckerman, cleveland, 29 Dec. 2022 The new legislation also raises the threshold required for members of Congress to object to certifying the electors. Arkansas Online, 24 Dec. 2022 The legislation raises the threshold to object to electors from one member in each chamber to one-fifth of all members. Lisa Hagen, Hartford Courant, 24 Dec. 2022 The new legislation also raises the threshold required for members of Congress to object to certifying the electors. Nicholas Riccardi, Chicago Tribune, 23 Dec. 2022
Adjective
But just shooting an object head-on without any movement is very dull. Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 29 Aug. 2022 But just shooting an object head-on without any movement is very dull. Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 29 Aug. 2022 But just shooting an object head-on without any movement is very dull. Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 29 Aug. 2022 But just shooting an object head-on without any movement is very dull. Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 29 Aug. 2022 But just shooting an object head-on without any movement is very dull. Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 29 Aug. 2022 But just shooting an object head-on without any movement is very dull. Julian Chokkattu, WIRED, 29 Aug. 2022 The case raises the important question of whether the testimony and result will serve as object lessons for investors confronted with cheery promises in the future. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 3 Jan. 2022 One of these, game playing, combines social, locomotive and object play. Caitlin O'connell, Scientific American, 1 Aug. 2021 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English object, objecte "something presented to the senses, purpose, objection," borrowed from Latin objectum "something presented to the senses, charge, accusation" (Medieval Latin also, "something presented to the mind, goal, aim"), noun derivative from neuter of objectus, past participle of obicere, objicere "to throw in the way, place against, put forward, present (to the eyes, mind, etc.), cite as a ground for disapproval," from ob- "against, in the way" + jacere "to throw, cast" — more at ob-, jet entry 3

Verb

Middle English objecten, in part borrowed from Latin objectus, past participle of obicere, objicere "to throw in the way, put forward, cite as a ground for disapproval or criticism," in part borrowed from Latin objectāre "to throw before, put in the way, cite as a ground for disapproval," frequentative of obicere — more at object entry 1

Adjective

from attributive use of object entry 1

First Known Use

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Adjective

1959, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of object was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near object

Cite this Entry

“Object.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/object. Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

object

1 of 2 noun
ob·​ject ˈäb-jikt How to pronounce object (audio)
1
: something that can be perceived by the senses
I see an object in the distance
2
: something that is the target of thought or feeling
an object of study
the object of my affections
3
: the goal or purpose of some activity
the object is to raise money
4
: a noun or term behaving like a noun that receives the action of a verb or completes the meaning of a preposition
5
: something (as an icon or window) on a computer screen that can be moved or used by itself
objectless adjective

object

2 of 2 verb
ob·​ject əb-ˈjekt How to pronounce object (audio)
1
: to offer or mention as an objection
objected that the price was too high
2
: to oppose something firmly usually with words
objected to the plan
objector noun

Medical Definition

object

noun
1
: something material that may be perceived by the senses
2
: something mental or physical toward which thought, feeling, or action is directed

Legal Definition

object

1 of 2 noun
ob·​ject ˈäb-jikt How to pronounce object (audio)
1
: something toward which thought, feeling, or action is directed see also natural object
2
: the purpose or goal of something
especially, in the civil law of Louisiana : the purpose for which a contract or obligation is formed

object

2 of 2 transitive verb
ob·​ject əb-ˈjekt How to pronounce object (audio)
: to state in opposition or as an objection
objected that the evidence was inadmissible

intransitive verb

: to state opposition especially to something in a judicial proceeding
objected to the testimony on the ground that it was hearsay

More from Merriam-Webster on object

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