1

objective

adjective ob·jec·tive \ əb-ˈjek-tiv , äb- \

Definition of objective

1 a :relating to or existing as an object of thought without consideration of independent existence used chiefly in medieval philosophy
b :of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers :having reality independent of the mind
  • objective reality
  • … our reveries … are significantly and repeatedly shaped by our transactions with the objective world.
  • —Marvin Reznikoff
— compare subjective 3a
c of a symptom of disease :perceptible to persons other than the affected individual
  • objective arthritis
— compare subjective 4c
d :involving or deriving from sense perception or experience with actual objects, conditions, or phenomena
  • objective awareness
  • objective data
2 :relating to, characteristic of, or constituting the case of words that follow prepositions or transitive verbs
  • The pronoun her is in the objective case in the sentence "I saw her."
3 a :expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations
  • objective art
  • an objective history of the war
  • an objective judgment
b of a test :limited to choices of fixed alternatives and reducing subjective factors to a minimum
  • Each question on the objective test requires the selection of the correct answer from among several choices.

objectively

adverb

objectiveness

noun

objectivity

play \ˌäb-ˌjek-ˈti-və-tē, əb-\ noun

Examples of objective in a Sentence

  1. For no matter how objective Server tries to appear in detailing the highs and lows of her 67 years—the three marriages, the numerous affairs, the binges, the nightlong cruising of low-life byways and bordellos, the mainly poor movies she was in—he cannot really hide his essential fondness for her. —Peter BogdanovichNew York Times Book Review23 Apr. 2006
  2. I'm not going to read the history about it while I'm alive because I don't trust short-term history. Most historians wouldn't have voted for me, so I don't think they can write an objective history. —George W. Bushquoted in Time6 Sept. 2004
  3. "I'm not really a Hollywood person," said Mr. [Clint] Eastwood, who lives mostly in Carmel. "Not that I don't like L.A., but I'm just a Northern California guy. And it's very hard to be objective about what you're doing in a town that's all consumed by the entertainment business." —Bernard WeinraubNew York Times6 Aug. 1992
  4. We need someone outside the company to give us an objective analysis.

  5. an objective assessment based solely upon the results of the experiment

Recent Examples of objective from the Web

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

First Known Use of objective

1647

Synonym Discussion of objective

material, physical, corporeal, phenomenal, sensible, objective mean of or belonging to actuality. material implies formation out of tangible matter; used in contrast with spiritual or ideal it may connote the mundane, crass, or grasping.
    • material values
physical applies to what is perceived directly by the senses and may contrast with mental, spiritual, or imaginary.
    • the physical benefits of exercise
corporeal implies having the tangible qualities of a body such as shape, size, or resistance to force.
    • artists have portrayed angels as corporeal beings
phenomenal applies to what is known or perceived through the senses rather than by intuition or rational deduction.
    • scientists concerned with the phenomenal world
sensible stresses the capability of readily or forcibly impressing the senses.
    • the earth's rotation is not sensible to us
objective may stress material or independent existence apart from a subject perceiving it.
    • no objective evidence of damage
fair, just, equitable, impartial, unbiased, dispassionate, objective mean free from favor toward either or any side. fair implies a proper balance of conflicting interests.
    • a fair decision
just implies an exact following of a standard of what is right and proper.
    • a just settlement of territorial claims
equitable implies a less rigorous standard than just and usually suggests equal treatment of all concerned.
    • the equitable distribution of the property
impartial stresses an absence of favor or prejudice.
    • an impartial third party
unbiased implies even more strongly an absence of all prejudice.
    • your unbiased opinion
dispassionate suggests freedom from the influence of strong feeling and often implies cool or even cold judgment.
    • a dispassionate summation of the facts
objective stresses a tendency to view events or persons as apart from oneself and one's own interest or feelings.
    • I can't be objective about my own child

2

objective

noun ob·jec·tive \ əb-ˈjek-tiv , äb- \

Definition of objective

1 :a lens or system of lenses that forms an image of an object
2 a :something toward which effort is directed :an aim, goal, or end of action
b :a strategic position to be attained or a purpose to be achieved by a military operation

Examples of objective in a Sentence

  1. The first objective of the low-intensity war was to "bleed" India so that it would cut its losses and quit. —Pervez HoodbhoyProspectJune 2003
  2. The Orange Plan assumed an early Japanese capture of the Philippines, and made relief of the Philippines the main U.S. objective. —David M. KennedyAtlanticMarch 1999
  3. The President had largely stuck to his publicly stated goals—though the objective of smashing Iraq's military machine hadn't been so clear. —Elizabeth DrewNew Yorker6 May 1991
  4. … their primary objective is not the enrollment of new voters but changing the party affiliation of old voters … —Lawrence KingCommonweal9 Oct. 1970
  5. The main objective of the class is to teach basic typing skills.

  6. She's expanding the business with the objective of improving efficiency.

  7. We've set specific objectives for each day.

Recent Examples of objective from the Web

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

First Known Use of objective

1835

Synonym Discussion of objective

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


OBJECTIVE Defined for English Language Learners

objective

adjective

Definition of objective for English Language Learners

  • : based on facts rather than feelings or opinions : not influenced by feelings

  • philosophy : existing outside of the mind : existing in the real world

  • grammar : relating to nouns, noun phrases, or pronouns that are the objects of verbs or prepositions


objective

noun

Definition of objective for English Language Learners

  • : something you are trying to do or achieve : a goal or purpose


OBJECTIVE Defined for Kids

1

objective

adjective ob·jec·tive \ əb-ˈjek-tiv \

Definition of objective for Students

1 :dealing with facts without allowing personal feelings to confuse them
  • an objective report
2 :being or belonging to the case of a noun or pronoun that is an object of a transitive verb or a preposition
3 :being outside of the mind and independent of it

objectively

adverb

2

objective

noun

Definition of objective for Students

:purpose, goal Before you begin the experiment, state your objective.

Medical Dictionary

1

objective

adjective ob·jec·tive \ əb-ˈjek-tiv, äb- \

medical Definition of objective

1 :of, relating to, or being an object, phenomenon, or condition in the realm of sensible experience independent of individual thought and perceptible by all observers
  • objective reality
2 :perceptible to persons other than the affected individual
  • an objective symptom of disease
— compare subjective 2b

objectively

adverb

2

objective

noun

medical Definition of objective

1 :a lens or system of lenses that forms an image of an object
2 :something toward which effort is directed


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