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

In order to explain complex ideas, academics too often default to Western science, which is assumed to be objective. Smithsonian, "Andean Solstice Celebrations Capture the Wondrous Churn of Spacetime," 22 June 2018 Nor was there much, if any, objective vetting done on any other issues or individuals. Kevin Baker, New Republic, "There are no good old days to return to in U.S. politics. The truth about a post-Trump era.," 15 Feb. 2018 The goal is to create an objective statistical measure to compare two players who have never faced each other head-to-head. Chris Chavez, SI.com, "The Art of the GOAT Debate: MJ vs. LeBron Examined," 11 June 2018 By any number of objective measures, our knowledge of our government and our participation in our communities are on the decline. Michael Smerconish, Philly.com, "How 2018 commencement speakers talked about Trump without saying his name | Michael Smerconish," 7 June 2018 The findings also need to be replicated in samples from different cultures and in studies using objective measures of an active lifestyle. Simon Makin, Scientific American, "Being a Couch Potato May Change Your Personality," 29 May 2018 Those index funds, however, select stocks based on a mix of objective and subjective business conduct criteria. Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Fortune, "Commentary: Post-Parkland Courage: Why CEOs Aren’t Mything the Moment," 27 Feb. 2018 This placing of subjective impressions over objective scholarship makes Briggs’s interest in Helen Lowe-Porter, Thomas Mann’s translator (and Boris Johnson’s great-grandmother), dismaying. Benjamin Moser, New York Times, "Did He Really Say That? On the Perils and Pitfalls of Translation," 28 June 2018 This not only highlights how science is not truly objective or universal, but shows that science itself is a reflection of the underlying culture. Smithsonian, "Andean Solstice Celebrations Capture the Wondrous Churn of Spacetime," 22 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Other objectives Mogherini outlined included maintaining wider economic relations with Iran, financial channels, Iran’s export of oil and gas, and the continuation of sea, land, air and rail transportation links. Washington Post, "With US out, others reaffirm commitment to Iran nuclear deal," 6 July 2018 Other objectives Mogherini outlined included maintaining wider economic relations with Iran, financial channels, Iran's export of oil and gas, and the continuation of sea, land, air and rail transportation links. Kiyoko Metzler, chicagotribune.com, "With U.S. out, others reaffirm commitment to Iran nuclear deal," 6 July 2018 There’s nothing wrong about a high school basketball prospect acknowledging that his primary objective this time of year is to get as many college looks as possible. Josh Verlin, Philly.com, "Recruiting: Winning means more college offers for Haverford School's Christian Ray," 3 July 2018 Our objective as a school district is to educate kids. Deborah Sullivan Brennan, sandiegouniontribune.com, "State law confirms protections for immigrant students," 30 June 2018 Many in the Army’s elite Delta Force and Ranger regiment claim Slabinski left a man behind on the mission and made a pivotal mistake by landing his team so close to the objective. Jennifer Griffin, Fox News, "Trump awards Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL for controversial mission in Afghanistan," 24 May 2018 The game handles stealth and exploration well, offering a guide to the next objective while also encouraging the player to engage with characters inhabiting the world. Patrick Shanley, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Shadow of the Tomb Raider' Is Peak Lara Croft," 27 Apr. 2018 New training programs must be developed to help police officers avoid racial and ethnic profiling, build trust within their communities and use sensitivity in dealing with the mentally ill, among other objectives. Bob Salsberg, The Seattle Times, "Criminal justice law brings reform, also more regs and costs," 21 Apr. 2018 This new approach should lead to a more holistic rendering of accountable care, one that is more faithful to the objectives it is supposed to achieve. Rita E. Numerof, STAT, "Microhospitals and healthplexes offer a peek at the future of health care," 10 Apr. 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

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Statistics for objective

Last Updated

28 Oct 2018

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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Comments on objective

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