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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.
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. 2015.
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Examples from the web for objectives
  • It requires, first of all, realistic and achievable objectives.
  • Reviews courses to ensure they comply with the goals and objectives of the program.
  • Since then, the forint has see-sawed and monetary policy has looked confused, torn between its conflicting objectives.
  • Some travel required to support business objectives.
  • We commemorate and look back at the goals and objectives of the sorority and fraternity.
  • Sunset will develop a proposal customized to your marketing objectives.
  • The goal in each level is to push your foes back while taking control of certain strategic objectives.
  • The commission is empowered to take countries to court of they fail to meet their objectives.
  • Pursuing external funding for individual and departmental research and teaching objectives is expected.
  • We strive to balance economic, environmental and social objectives and integrate them into our daily business decisions.
British Dictionary definitions for objectives


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 objectives



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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objectives 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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objectives 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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