[ uhb-jek-tiv ]
See synonyms for: objectiveobjectivesobjectivelyobjectiveness on Thesaurus.com

  1. 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.

  2. Grammar.

    • Also called ob·jec·tive case [uhb-jek-tiv keys] /əbˈdʒɛk tɪv ˈkeɪs/ . (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.

    • a word in that case.

  1. Also called object glass, object lens, ob·jec·tive lens [uhb-jek-tiv lenz] /əbˈdʒɛk tɪv ˈlɛnz/ .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.

  1. being the object or goal of one's efforts or actions.

  2. not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.

  1. intent upon or dealing with things external to the mind rather than with thoughts or feelings, as a person or a book.

  2. being the object of perception or thought; belonging to the object of thought rather than to the thinking subject (opposed to subjective).

  3. 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.

  4. Grammar.

    • pertaining to the use of a form as the object of a transitive verb or of a preposition.

    • (in English and some other languages) noting the objective case.

    • similar to such a case in meaning.

    • (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.

  5. being part of or pertaining to an object to be drawn: an objective plane.

  6. Medicine/Medical. (of a symptom) discernible to others as well as the patient.

Origin of objective

First recorded in 1610–20; from Medieval Latin objectīvus, equivalent to Latin object(us) (see object) + -īvus adjective suffix (see -ive)

Other words for objective

Opposites for objective

Other words from objective

  • ob·jec·tive·ly, adverb
  • ob·jec·tive·ness, noun
  • pre·ob·jec·tive, adjective
  • qua·si-ob·jec·tive, adjective
  • sem·i·ob·jec·tive, adjective
  • sem·i·ob·jec·tive·ness, noun
  • un·ob·jec·tive, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use objective in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for objective


/ (əbˈdʒɛktɪv) /

  1. existing independently of perception or an individual's conceptions: are there objective moral values?

  2. undistorted by emotion or personal bias

  1. of or relating to actual and external phenomena as opposed to thoughts, feelings, etc

  2. med (of disease symptoms) perceptible to persons other than the individual affected

  3. 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

  4. of, or relating to a goal or aim

  1. the object of one's endeavours; goal; aim

  2. Also called: objective point military a place or position towards which forces are directed

  1. an actual phenomenon; reality

  2. grammar

    • the objective case

    • a word or speech element in the objective case

  3. Also called: object glass optics

    • the lens or combination of lenses nearest to the object in an optical instrument

    • the lens or combination of lenses forming the image in a camera or projector

  • Abbreviation: obj
  • Compare: subjective

Derived forms of objective

  • objectival (ˌɒbdʒɛkˈtaɪvəl), adjective
  • objectively, adverb
  • objectivity or 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

Scientific definitions for objective


[ əb-jĕktĭv ]

  1. 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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.