Definition of objective in English:



  • 1(of a person or their judgment) not influenced by personal feelings or opinions in considering and representing facts.

    ‘historians try to be objective and impartial’
    Contrasted with subjective
    • ‘Sometimes, we can overlook this fact and describe ourselves as objective scientists, but this understates the role of the economist in modern society.’
    • ‘Cornwallis fumed, and later historians have echoed his frustration, but should that be accepted as an objective judgement of the behaviour of Halifax's pioneers?’
    • ‘Neutral parties, objective people who would not ask, and would only obey.’
    • ‘Barely a day goes by without news of a terrorist incident, and speak to any objective observer and they will tell you that, for all the progress, big problems remain.’
    • ‘Second, I am stating my opinions and hopefully I am more objective than judgemental.’
    • ‘In the absence of an infallible and objective observer, judging competence from within a hierarchy is always likely to be a hit and miss affair.’
    • ‘This contrasts with the common image of scientists being objective and impartial analysts who allow the empirical facts to speak for themselves.’
    • ‘The moral relativism that pollutes what remain of the rules of war - the good guys never do bad things - has entirely eradicated objective judgement.’
    • ‘Secondly, becoming professionals has sometimes made historians pretend to an Olympian detachment from, and objective judgement on, the present and the past.’
    • ‘Any objective person would have to say that over the last four years we have invested more particularly in cancer services than we did in the past twenty years.’
    • ‘The psychological contract is an attempt by a worker to impose order and responsibility to a situation where that person may have little objective power.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the accumulation of evidence in a wide range of areas must surely force any reasonably objective observer to the conclusion that urgent policy action is required on a global level.’
    • ‘I was determined to remain a disinterested, objective observer in order to respond to student questions or problems.’
    • ‘Just to establish the ground rules, I know I am neither neutral nor the most objective observer on the subject I'm about to discuss in this space.’
    • ‘The only positive aspect that has emerged from the meeting is the fact that more objective members have started questioning the sudden conversion of Zuma into a friend of the workers and the masses.’
    • ‘This is anti - foundationalism, where the foundations were the hard facts of objective judgement and absolute truth.’
    • ‘His behaviour may not be technically wrong, but to outside, objective observers it just seems wrong.’
    • ‘But when you're in the room with him, I believe that any trying to be objective person would come away with the impression, one, this is not a dumb person.’
    • ‘Although the media can be reluctant to analyse or even accept that its own role is any more than that of an objective observer, its networks are formidable.’
    • ‘As an objective observer, as you turn on the news every night, and you see what's going on in the Gulf Coast down there, so many people have lost so much.’
    impartial, unbiased, unprejudiced, non-partisan, disinterested, non-discriminatory, neutral, uninvolved, even-handed, equitable, fair, fair-minded, just, open-minded, dispassionate, detached, impersonal, unemotional, clinical
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    1. 1.1Not dependent on the mind for existence; actual.
      ‘a matter of objective fact’
      • ‘With Hegel's concept of objective spirit, the object domain of modern social science, that is, individuality and society, make their appearance.’
      • ‘There is authentic meaning, a reason for existence that is objective and real, not invented.’
      • ‘But there is no longer any objective justification for the existence of competing small groups.’
      • ‘The operational definitions that we adopt here are: Real objects are any objects that have an actual objective existence.’
      • ‘Like after the statements have had their desired effect to sway opinion and to make subjective assertions become, in the public mind, objective fact.’
      • ‘You posit an external, objective reality whose solidity allows an objective mind to perceive it fully and without cultural bias or observational tint.’
      • ‘If television could be relied upon to provide an objective rendering of actual events (we'll call it news) then I might be in.’
      • ‘But it was conditional upon the objective existence of the factual circumstance, that is, that the termination was unfair, harsh or unjust.’
      • ‘She argues that ontological realism about a type of entity is justified if the objective existence of the entities is part of our best explanation of the world.’
      • ‘Frege ascribes to senses and thoughts objective existence.’
      • ‘In this sense their condition is epistemologically objective but ontologically subjective.’
      • ‘Controversial, yes, but I'm saying those physical laws don't have an objective existence, they're categories we apply to experiences.’
      • ‘Time is the form of inner sense, that is, of all states of mind, whether or not they are referred to an objective reality.’
      • ‘No, I'm saying there is no ultimate reality, no objective existence, no ontology at all.’
      • ‘One reason why these studies are so important for the false memory controversy is that an objective record of the actual events is available.’
      • ‘In much the same way, arguments about the existence of God are only useful if you accept the notion that petitionary prayer can result in an objective effect in the phenomenal world.’
      • ‘This is what threatens materialism, since according to that doctrine, every fact about every human mind is ultimately a public, objective fact.’
      • ‘We can therefore say at the very least that there is no objective proof of the existence of a suicide tidal wave.’
      • ‘Even a seemingly neutral description of the offence itself can be action-oriented in terms of constructing the objective, factual basis of the crime.’
      • ‘It describes the test as ‘willingness’ and ‘ability’ as being relevant to the existence of an objective basis.’
      factual, actual, real, empirical, verifiable, existing, manifest
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  • 2Grammar
    [attributive] Relating to or denoting a case of nouns and pronouns used as the object of a transitive verb or a preposition.

    • ‘Two prepositions should not govern one objective unless there is an immediate connection between them.’


  • 1A thing aimed at or sought; a goal.

    ‘the system has achieved its objective’
    • ‘To help us achieve our objective of scoring goals, we have brought in Prince Nkosi.’
    • ‘It is possible to set learning objectives and plan activities that the teacher hopes will achieve the objective, but the outcome will be different for different students.’
    • ‘It is a mechanism through which societies seek to achieve political objectives.’
    • ‘A £4,500 payment in compensation is a big enough deterrent, we believe, to achieve our main objective of discouraging illegal filesharing.’
    • ‘Only by uniting under one banner will pensioners ever achieve their objectives.’
    • ‘In war, the balance of protection lies squarely on one's own forces, whose security is not only important in human terms but in the context of achieving a military objective.’
    • ‘We just did not seem able to recruit the staff at York in the required numbers to achieve our objectives.’
    • ‘The key is to make players realise that the common goal can help them achieve individual objectives.’
    • ‘Is the proposed law or regulation the least intrusive way [i.e. least impact on rights] that the desired objective can be achieved?’
    • ‘Overall, sustained efforts will be required in order to achieve the ambitious objective of the Strategy, which is to have a qualified and efficient civil service in place in the medium term.’
    • ‘You have goals and objectives, but there are many different ways of going about achieving them.’
    • ‘The proposals achieve our basic objectives and it is a major first step forward.’
    • ‘I also regularly have meetings with them to discuss objectives and goals.’
    • ‘The report outlines a number of goals and objectives, all of which are no doubt very laudable.’
    • ‘If one life is saved as a result of this campaign, we will achieve our objective.’
    • ‘A terrorist is a person or persons who instigate violence upon an innocent party in order to achieve an objective or goal.’
    • ‘The process is the means through which they seek to attain their objectives.’
    • ‘It remains our objective to seek commercial development of our lands that are non-core to our bloodstock auctioneering business, stated Mr Osborne.’
    • ‘Whenever we use cryptography it is important that we check that it is helping us achieve our desired objectives.’
    • ‘But the premier stressed that achieving the objective of drastically streamlining rural administration would take time.’
    aim, intention, purpose, target, goal, intent, object, end, end in view, grail, holy grail
    idea, design, plan, scheme, ambition, aspiration, desire, hope
    the point, the object of the exercise
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  • 2Grammar
    The objective case.

    • ‘The root with the added o is the nominative, the objective adds an n after the o.’
    • ‘The objective normally begins with a simple conventional declarative sentence known as the "kernel" which is then transformed into a complex structure to satisfy the objective by adding or rearranging transformational sentence components.’
  • 3The lens in a telescope or microscope nearest to the object observed.

    • ‘The pattern passes through the microscope objective onto the sample.’
    • ‘Small holes were made in the film for the microscope objective lens and the micropipette.’
    • ‘Laser power before entering the microscope objective was 120 W and the wavelength was 495 nm for all experiments shown.’
    • ‘He had introduced a field lens, a third lens between the objective lens and the eye-piece, which served to increase the field of view.’
    • ‘This shaped beam profile is imaged through the telescope system onto the back focal plane of the microscope objective.’


Early 17th century: from medieval Latin objectivus, from objectum (see object).