indirect object


noun

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.

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Origin of indirect object

First recorded in 1875–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for indirect object

indirect object

noun

grammar a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase indicating the recipient or beneficiary of the action of a verb and its direct object, as John in the sentence I bought John a newspaperCompare direct object
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

Cultural definitions for indirect object

indirect object

A noun, pronoun, or group of words naming something indirectly affected by the action of a verb: “She showed me some carpet samples”; “The agent handed the Prentice family their tickets.”

notes for indirect object

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.