objective

adjective
ob·​jec·​tive | \ əb-ˈjek-tiv How to pronounce objective (audio) , äb- \

Definition of objective

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : 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.
2a : 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
b : involving or deriving from sense perception or experience with actual objects, conditions, or phenomena objective awareness objective data
c of a symptom of disease : perceptible to persons other than the affected individual objective arthritis — compare subjective sense 4c
d : relating to or existing as an object of thought without consideration of independent existence used chiefly in medieval philosophy
3 : 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."

objective

noun
ob·​jec·​tive | \ əb-ˈjek-tiv How to pronounce objective (audio) , äb- \

Definition of objective (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from objective

Adjective

objectiveness 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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Our clinical decisions are always governed by objective medical evidence. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford Hospital's letter outlining coronavirus protocols was to plan for 'extreme emergency'," 28 Mar. 2020 Perhaps its 73-minute running time is a detriment, as its focus on its subjects doesn’t seem to allow room for the objective evidence that would have bolstered its case. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Ellen Page’s documentary examines ‘environmental racism’ in her home province," 27 Mar. 2020 Getting objective data on Latino political thought could help convince Texas Republicans that President Donald Trump’s policies are driving Latinos away from the party. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Former Dallas lawmaker launches think tank dedicated to studying Texas Latinos," 17 Mar. 2020 On the surface, using objective data to predict crime risk seems like a promising way to prevent subjective judgments or implicit bias about where to deploy police. Taylor Mooney, CBS News, "Is artificial intelligence making racial profiling worse?," 20 Feb. 2020 The Moorer lawsuit says StemGenex customers weren’t given such objective data. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego stem cell clinic StemGenex faces class action lawsuit," 2 July 2019 The app then operates behind the scenes whenever a person uses their phone, compiling a trove of objective data. Laine Higgins, WSJ, "Can Typos Give Insight Into Your Mental Health?," 11 Oct. 2018 But, in the past two decades, a small number of scientists have begun finding ways to capture the experience in quantifiable, objective data, and Tracey has emerged as a formidable figure in the field. Nicola Twilley, The New Yorker, "The Neuroscience of Pain," 9 May 2016 This concept provides a uniform approach that is understandable, predictable and objective. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Transfers such as Ohio State football’s Justin Fields would no longer need waiver: NCAA proposal," 18 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The study’s authors—at institutions in Brazil and several other countries—say their approach provides an objective, consistent measure of peer review’s effects. Jeffrey Brainard, Science | AAAS, "Do preprints improve with peer review? A little, one study suggests," 26 Mar. 2020 Re-signing WR Amari Cooper checked off one major objective, while re-signing CB Anthony Brown for three years helped blunt the loss of Byron Jones. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "NFL free agency grades 2020: Tom Brady's decision boosts Buccaneers, sinks Patriots," 26 Mar. 2020 Juwan Howard's objective: Ensure his players don't overlook the Wildcats. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball at Northwestern: Scouting report, prediction," 12 Feb. 2020 Defining objectives Lockdown drills, like fire drills, should help people respond correctly in emergency situations by making them practice. Jaclyn Schildkraut, The Conversation, "Schools should heed calls to do lockdown drills without traumatizing kids instead of abolishing them," 12 Feb. 2020 Great fashion, regardless of gender tropes, was the objective, and over the decades, the company has built upon this reputation, accruing a loyal following of women who are particularly taken by its slick, airy button-downs. Barry Samaha, Harper's BAZAAR, "Equipment Launches a Gender Fluid Collection," 6 Feb. 2020 Here are the three overall objectives to focus your meetings around: Communication. Liz Bentley, Marie Claire, "Lead a Big Meeting With Confidence Using These Techniques," 3 Feb. 2020 Discovering the location of a physical goal is one example: as an animal navigates toward an objective, some hippocampal neurons fire depending on the direction and distance to reach it. Matthew Schafer, Scientific American, "In Search of the Brain’s Social Road Maps," 1 Feb. 2020 And while protection for your noggin is the primary objective, an excellent helmet is also well ventilated and warm. Popular Science, "The best ski helmets for protecting the only brain you’ll get," 31 Jan. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of objective

Adjective

1647, in the meaning defined at sense 2d

Noun

1835, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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 probably short for objective point "goal of a military operation"; in sense 2 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") — more at objective entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about objective

Time Traveler for objective

Time Traveler

The first known use of objective was in 1647

See more words from the same year

Statistics for objective

Last Updated

31 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Objective.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/objective. Accessed 4 Apr. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for objective

objective

adjective
How to pronounce objective (audio)

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
How to pronounce objective (audio)

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 How to pronounce objective (audio) \

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- How to pronounce objective (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on objective

What made you want to look up objective? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Citation

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!