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objective Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun the goal intended to be attained (and which is believed to be attainable)
    aim; object; target.
    • the sole object of her trip was to see her children
  2. noun the lens or system of lenses in a telescope or microscope that is nearest the object being viewed
    object glass; objective lens; object lens.
  3. adjective undistorted by emotion or personal bias; based on observable phenomena
    • an objective appraisal
    • objective evidence
  4. adjective serving as or indicating the object of a verb or of certain prepositions and used for certain other purposes
    • objective case
    • accusative endings
  5. adjective satellite emphasizing or expressing things as perceived without distortion of personal feelings, insertion of fictional matter, or interpretation
    • objective art
  6. adjective satellite belonging to immediate experience of actual things or events
    • objective benefits
    • an objective example
    • there is no objective evidence of anything of the kind

Ob*jec"tive adjective
Cf.F. objectif.
  1. Of or pertaining to an object.
  2. (Metaph.) Of or pertaining to an object; contained in, or having the nature or position of, an object; outward; external; extrinsic; -- an epithet applied to whatever ir exterior to the mind, or which is simply an object of thought or feeling, and opposed to subjective.
    In the Middle Ages, subject meant substance, and has this sense in Descartes and Spinoza: sometimes, also, in Reid. Subjective is used by William of Occam to denote that which exists independent of mind; objective, what is formed by the mind. This shows what is meant by realitas objectiva in Descartes. Kant and Fichte have inverted the meanings. Subject, with them, is the mind which knows; object, that which is known; subjective, the varying conditions of the knowing mind; objective, that which is in the constant nature of the thing known. Trendelenburg.
    Objective means that which belongs to, or proceeds from, the object known, and not from the subject knowing, and thus denotes what is real, in opposition to that which is ideal -- what exists in nature, in contrast to what exists merely in the thought of the individual. Sir. W. Hamilton.
    Objective has come to mean that which has independent exostence or authority, apart from our experience or thought. Thus, moral law is said to have objective authority, that is, authority belonging to itself, and not drawn from anything in our nature. Calderwood (Fleming's Vocabulary).
  3. (Gram.) Pertaining to, or designating, the case which follows a transitive verb or a preposition, being that case in which the direct object of the verb is placed. See Accusative, n. ✍ The objective case is frequently used without a governing word, esp. in designations of time or space, where a preposition, as at, in, on, etc., may be supplied.
    My troublous dream [on] this night make me sad. Shak.
    To write of victories [in or for] next year. Hudibras.
    Syn. -- Objective, Subjective. Objective is applied to things exterior to the mind, and objects of its attention; subjective, to the operations of the mind itself. Hence, an objective motive is some outward thing awakening desire; a subjective motive is some internal feeling or propensity. Objective views are those governed by outward things; subjective views are produced or modified by internal feeling. Sir Walter Scott's poetry is chiefly objective; that of Wordsworth is eminently subjective.
    In the philosophy of mind, subjective denotes what is to be referred to the thinking subject, the ego; objective what belongs to the object of thought, the non-ego. Sir. W. Hamilton
Ob*jec"tive noun
  1. (Gram.) The objective case.
  2. An object glass. See under Object, n.
  3. Same as Objective point, under Objective, a.

Webster 1913