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[uh b-jek-tiv] /əbˈdʒɛk tɪv/
something that one's efforts or actions are intended to attain or accomplish; purpose; goal; target:
the objective of a military attack; the objective of a fund-raising drive.
  1. Also called objective case. (in English and some other languages) a case specialized for the use of a form as the object of a transitive verb or of a preposition, as him in The boy hit him, or me in He comes to me with his troubles.
  2. a word in that case.
Also called object glass, object lens, objective lens. Optics. (in a telescope, microscope, camera, or other optical system) the lens or combination of lenses that first receives the rays from the object and forms the image in the focal plane of the eyepiece, as in a microscope, or on a plate or screen, as in a camera.
being the object or goal of one's efforts or actions.
not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased:
an objective opinion.
intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.
being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject (opposed to subjective).
of or relating to something that can be known, or to something that is an object or a part of an object; existing independent of thought or an observer as part of reality.
  1. pertaining to the use of a form as the object of a transitive verb or of a preposition.
  2. (in English and some other languages) noting the objective case.
  3. similar to such a case in meaning.
  4. (in case grammar) pertaining to the semantic role of a noun phrase that denotes something undergoing a change of state or bearing a neutral relation to the verb, as the rock in The rock moved or in The child threw the rock.
being part of or pertaining to an object to be drawn:
an objective plane.
Medicine/Medical. (of a symptom) discernible to others as well as the patient.
Origin of objective
1610-20; < Medieval Latin objectīvus, equivalent to Latin object(us) (see object) + -īvus -ive
Related forms
objectively, adverb
objectiveness, noun
preobjective, adjective
quasi-objective, adjective
quasi-objectively, adverb
semiobjective, adjective
semiobjectively, adverb
semiobjectiveness, noun
unobjective, adjective
unobjectively, adverb
1. object, destination, aim. 5. impartial, fair, impersonal, disinterested.
5. personal. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for objectively
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • objectively the state is not realizable in the ward of a city.

    The Book of the Damned Charles Fort
  • They are subjective forces, but they are also objectively creative.

    The Psychology of Nations G.E. Partridge
  • objectively, impersonally considered, the effect was terrific.

    Legacy James H Schmitz
  • I know that is true of his living in us objectively and finally, but that seemeth not to be all.

    A Christian Directory Baxter Richard
  • So I am to tell the story as gently and as objectively as the matter on hand will permit.

    Dust of New York Konrad Bercovici
British Dictionary definitions for objectively


existing independently of perception or an individual's conceptions: are there objective moral values?
undistorted by emotion or personal bias
of or relating to actual and external phenomena as opposed to thoughts, feelings, etc
(med) (of disease symptoms) perceptible to persons other than the individual affected
(grammar) denoting a case of nouns and pronouns, esp in languages having only two cases, that is used to identify the direct object of a finite verb or preposition and for various other purposes. In English the objective case of pronouns is also used in many elliptical constructions (as in Poor me! Who, him?), as the subject of a gerund (as in It was me helping him), informally as a predicate complement (as in It's me), and in nonstandard use as part of a compound subject (as in John, Larry, and me went fishing) See also accusative
of, or relating to a goal or aim
the object of one's endeavours; goal; aim
(military) Also called objective point. a place or position towards which forces are directed
an actual phenomenon; reality
  1. the objective case
  2. a word or speech element in the objective case
(optics) Also called object glass
  1. the lens or combination of lenses nearest to the object in an optical instrument
  2. the lens or combination of lenses forming the image in a camera or projector
obj Compare subjective
Derived Forms
objectival (ˌɒbdʒɛkˈtaɪvəl) adjective
objectively, adverb
objectivity, (rare) objectiveness, noun
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 objectively



1610s, originally in the philosophical sense of "considered in relation to its object" (opposite of subjective), formed on pattern of Medieval Latin objectivus, from objectum "object" (see object (n.)) + -ive. Meaning "impersonal, unbiased" is first found 1855, influenced by German objektiv. Related: Objectively.



1738, "something objective to the mind," from objective (adj.). Meaning "goal, aim" (1881) is from military term objective point (1852), reflecting a sense evolution in French.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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objectively in Medicine

objective ob·jec·tive (əb-jěk'tĭv)
The lens or lenses in the lower end of a microscope or other optical instrument that first receives light rays from the object being examined and forms its image. adj.

  1. Based on observable phenomena; presented factually.

  2. Indicating a symptom or condition perceived as a sign of disease by someone other than the person affected.

ob·jec'tive·ness n.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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objectively in Science
The lens or mirror in a microscope or other optical instrument that first receives light rays from the object and forms the image.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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