objective

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

Definition of objective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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 sense 3a
c of a symptom of disease : perceptible to persons other than the affected individual objective arthritis — compare subjective sense 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."
3a : 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.

objective

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

Definition of objective (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a lens or system of lenses that forms an image of an object
2a : 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

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Other Words from objective

Adjective

objectively adverb
objectiveness noun
objectivity \ ˌäb-​ˌjek-​ˈti-​və-​tē , əb-​ \ noun

Choose the Right Synonym for objective

Adjective

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

Noun

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

Examples of objective in a Sentence

Adjective

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 Bogdanovich, New York Times Book Review, 23 Apr. 2006 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. Bush, quoted in Time, 6 Sept. 2004 "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 Weinraub, New York Times, 6 Aug. 1992 We need someone outside the company to give us an objective analysis. an objective assessment based solely upon the results of the experiment

Noun

The first objective of the low-intensity war was to "bleed" India so that it would cut its losses and quit. — Pervez Hoodbhoy, Prospect, June 2003 The Orange Plan assumed an early Japanese capture of the Philippines, and made relief of the Philippines the main U.S. objective. — David M. Kennedy, Atlantic, March 1999 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 Drew, New Yorker, 6 May 1991 … their primary objective is not the enrollment of new voters but changing the party affiliation of old voters … — Lawrence King, Commonweal, 9 Oct. 1970 The main objective of the class is to teach basic typing skills. She's expanding the business with the objective of improving efficiency. We've set specific objectives for each day.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Eudaimonia involves a more objective conception of living as a human ought to live, according to our species’ true nature. Julian Baggini, WSJ, "‘Aristotle’s Way’ Review: Philosophize and Flourish," 15 Feb. 2019 In the meantime, though, over at CNN, Jeff Toobin, normally an objective reporter, went further than anyone. Fox News, "Brit Hume on fallout from Kavanaugh hearing; Alan Dershowitz on Rachel Mitchell's performance," 28 Sep. 2018 Any attempt at understanding the effects of policing in black America must begin from a rational, objective perspective. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Unprotected, Underserved: The (False) Criminalization of Black America," 25 June 2018 Yet in the absence of that answer, most objective observers assume he would then either stay in Cleveland or head elsewhere. Sam Amick, USA TODAY, "What the NBA Awards show taught us about LeBron James' free agent future," 26 June 2018 All members of the media, generally, strive to remain objective. Al Saracevic, SFChronicle.com, "In this case, it’s OK to root for a team," 30 June 2018 Pros: This model is based on objective facts about animals, so predictions are less prone to bias. Mallory Locklear, Discover Magazine, "With Big Data and Predictive Analytics, Scientists Are Getting Smarter About Outbreaks," 8 Nov. 2018 Those suspicions must be based upon specific, objective facts, not merely the physical appearance of the driver and passengers, according to immigration attorneys. Jeff Gammage, Philly.com, "Defying ICE: Undocumented mother in Philly sanctuary church sends her children to school," 29 Jan. 2018 In 1987 Ashkin and his team were able to send a laser through a microscope's objective lens and trapping particles varying in size from a tens of nanometres up to tens of micrometres (20 mm is equivalent 0.00078 inches). David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "2018 Physics Nobel Goes to a Trio of Laser Experts," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

InSight's science objectives, however, are reminiscent of NASA's Apollo program. Marcia Dunn, The Christian Science Monitor, "InSight spacecraft has a deep mission in Martian soil," 2 May 2018 The objectives of her trip weren’t clearly defined, and some of her clothes were, well, distracting. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, "Melania Trump Gave Us All a Valuable Lesson in How Not to Dress in Africa," 9 Oct. 2018 Historic preservation, patriotism and education are the three prime objectives of the heritage organization. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Daughters of American Revolution keep marching ...community news," 12 July 2018 The objective of the steel and aluminum tariffs imposed by the U.S., according to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, is to reduce the U.S. trade deficit and shore up American metal producers. Rick Barrett, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "European Union residents, many Harley fans, opine about Trump and tariffs," 5 July 2018 That will be a critical piece if the Blue Jays intend to realize their objective of advancing to the NCAA tournament semifinals. Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Review & preview: Johns Hopkins men’s lacrosse," 11 June 2018 The core objective of the Innovate to Grow Fund is to help members launch new and innovate programs to grow participation in their markets. Grant Wahl, SI.com, "U.S. Soccer Backtracks, Drops Youth Technical Coach Tom Byer's Pilot Program," 24 May 2018 But fighting a trade war and maintaining a strong recovery may be mutually exclusive objectives. Phil Gramm And, WSJ, "The Debt Threat to the Economy," 10 Dec. 2018 Flying a spacecraft to the sun has been an objective of NASA since the very beginning. Jay Bennett, Popular Mechanics, "The Spacecraft Engineering Required to "Touch the Sun"," 6 Aug. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of objective

Adjective

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for objective

Adjective

borrowed from Medieval Latin objectīvus "considered in relation to its purpose, relating to an object of thought," from objectum "something presented to the mind, goal, aim" + Latin -īvus -ive — more at object entry 1

Noun

in sense 1 noun derivative of objective, adjective, "nearest the object (of the parts of a lens in a telescope, microscope, etc.)," probably borrowed from French (in verre objectif "lens nearest the object"); in sense 2 probably short for objective point "goal of a military operation" — more at objective entry 1

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Statistics for objective

Last Updated

18 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for objective

The first known use of objective was in 1647

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More Definitions for objective

objective

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of objective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

English Language Learners Definition of objective (Entry 2 of 2)

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

objective

adjective
ob·​jec·​tive | \ əb-ˈjek-tiv \

Kids Definition of objective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

Other Words from objective

objectively adverb

objective

noun

Kids Definition of objective (Entry 2 of 2)

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

objective

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

Medical Definition of objective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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 sense 2b

Other Words from objective

objectively adverb

objective

noun

Medical Definition of objective (Entry 2 of 2)

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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