a word or group of words representing the person or thing with reference to which the action of a verb is performed, in English generally coming between the verb and the direct object and paraphrasable as the object of a preposition, usually to or for, following the direct object, as the boy in He gave the boy a book.
Origin of indirect object
First recorded in 1875–80
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Indirect objects can often take or suggest the preposition to. For example, “He showed (to) me the book.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.