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[noun ob-jikt, -jekt; verb uh b-jekt] /noun ˈɒb dʒɪkt, -dʒɛkt; verb əbˈdʒɛkt/
anything that is visible or tangible and is relatively stable in form.
a thing, person, or matter to which thought or action is directed:
an object of medical investigation.
the end toward which effort or action is directed; goal; purpose:
Profit is the object of business.
a person or thing with reference to the impression made on the mind or the feeling or emotion elicited in an observer:
an object of curiosity and pity.
anything that may be apprehended intellectually:
objects of thought.
Optics. the thing of which a lens or mirror forms an image.
Grammar. (in many languages, as English) a noun, noun phrase, or noun substitute representing by its syntactical position either the goal of the action of a verb or the goal of a preposition in a prepositional phrase, as ball in John hit the ball, Venice in He came to Venice, coin and her in He gave her a coin.
Computers. any item that can be individually selected or manipulated, as a picture, data file, or piece of text.
Metaphysics. something toward which a cognitive act is directed.
verb (used without object)
to offer a reason or argument in opposition.
to express or feel disapproval, dislike, or distaste; be averse.
to refuse or attempt to refuse to permit some action, speech, etc.
verb (used with object)
to state, claim, or cite in opposition; put forward in objection, disagreement, or disapproval:
Some people objected that the proposed import duty would harm world trade.
Archaic. to bring forward or adduce in opposition.
Origin of object
1325-75; (noun) Middle English: something perceived, purpose, objection < Medieval Latin objectum something thrown down or presented (to the mind), noun use of neuter of Latin objectus (past participle of objicere), equivalent to ob- ob- + jec- (combining form of jacere to throw; see jet1) + -tus past participle suffix; (v.) Middle English objecten to argue against (< Middle French obje(c)ter) < Latin objectāre to throw or put before, oppose
Related forms
objector, noun
overobject, verb
reobject, verb (used with object)
unobjected, adjective
Can be confused
abject, object.
3. objective, target, destination, intent, intention, motive. See aim.

object. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for object
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nelson soon assured the Austrian commander that this was not the object of his memorial.

  • Still, how could it be genuine homesickness when the object of his yearning was beside him?

    Tutors' Lane Wilmarth Lewis
  • Some object to liver, therefore the use of it is a matter of taste.

    Culture and Cooking Catherine Owen
  • As he straightened, he realized that he was the object of an intense scrutiny.

    Millennium Everett B. Cole
  • There was no object upon which his eyes could rest, which was not beautiful.

    Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo E. Phillips Oppenheim
British Dictionary definitions for object


a tangible and visible thing
a person or thing seen as a focus or target for feelings, thought, etc: an object of affection
an aim, purpose, or objective
(informal) a ridiculous or pitiable person, spectacle, etc
(philosophy) that towards which cognition is directed, as contrasted with the thinking subject; anything regarded as external to the mind, esp in the external world
(grammar) a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase whose referent is the recipient of the action of a verb See also direct object, indirect object
(grammar) a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that is governed by a preposition
no object, not a hindrance or obstacle: money is no object
(computing) a self-contained identifiable component of a software system or design: object-oriented programming
Word Origin
C14: from Late Latin objectus something thrown before (the mind), from Latin obicere; see object²


(transitive; takes a clause as object) to state as an objection: he objected that his motives had been good
(intransitive) often foll by to. to raise or state an objection (to); present an argument (against)
Derived Forms
objector, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin obicere, from ob- against + jacere to throw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for object

late 14c., "tangible thing, something perceived or presented to the senses," from Medieval Latin objectum "thing put before" (the mind or sight), noun use of neuter of Latin obiectus "lying before, opposite" (as a noun in classical Latin, "charges, accusations"), past participle of obicere "to present, oppose, cast in the way of," from ob "against" (see ob-) + iacere "to throw" (see jet (v.)). Sense of "thing aimed at" is late 14c. No object "not a thing regarded as important" is from 1782. As an adjective, "presented to the senses," from late 14c. Object lesson "instruction conveyed by examination of a material object" is from 1831.


c.1400, "to bring forward in opposition," from Old French objecter and directly from Latin obiectus, past participle of obiectare "to cite as grounds for disapproval, set against, oppose," literally "to put or throw before or against," frequentative of obicere (see object (n.)). Related: Objected; objecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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object in Culture

object definition

A part of a sentence; a noun, pronoun, or group of words that receives or is affected by the action of a verb. (See direct object, indirect object, and objective case.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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object in Technology

In object-oriented programming, an instance of the data structure and behaviour defined by the object's class. Each object has its own values for the instance variables of its class and can respond to the methods defined by its class.
For example, an object of the "Point" class might have instance variables "x" and "y" and might respond to the "plot" method by drawing a dot on the screen at those coordinates.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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Idioms and Phrases with object


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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