The form of a pronoun indicating that the pronoun is the object of a clause; that is, that it is what is having the action done to it.

Male: him
Female: her
Neutral: it

See also: subjective, possessive

Though not commonly used in English, in many European languages, the word objective is used as a noun describing the "lens" of a camera or a film/slide projector.

I put the word lens in quotation marks because, strictly speaking, few if any modern cameras use just a single lens. They typically use a lens assembly, i.e., an objective.

The objective (lens assembly) usually consists of a metal tube in which several lenses are assembled.

The objectives designed for the use in view cameras and other bellows cameras generally use a simpler design in which the lenses are mounted in a fixed distance from each other. That is because focusing is achieved by changing the distance of the objective from the film, i.e., by collapsing or extending the bellows.

In some of the non-bellows cameras, the objective, too, contains lenses fixed. These are the cheap cameras with fixed focus, which make more or less everything from a certain distance to infinity (relatively) sharp.

However, most non-bellows cameras use objectives with movable lenses. Focusing is achieved by changing the distance of the lenses inside the objective. This can be done manually, by the photographer, or automatically in point and shoot cameras. The automatic focus generally focuses on whatever object in the center of the image is the closest to the camera. This is really not a good idea because it wastes part of the depth of field on just the empty space in front of the closest object. Just another example of a supposed ease of use sacrificing quality.

Most modern objectives also have a built-in shutter, which, again, is either controlled manually or electronically (in the point and shoot cameras).

Various objectives contain other built-in features, which is why the common English custom of calling an objective a lens is rather inexact, though a fact of life.

A bellows camera is somewhat harder to use. However, one of its advantages is that since focusing is done by the bellows, interchangeable lenses (I mean objectives) do not need to contain the extra feature of movable lenses, hence they should be cheaper (at least in theory, though in practice they may not be because fewer of them are made). The bellows cameras have many other advantages as well, but those are oustside the scope of this write-up.

Incidentally, the lens assembly got its name "objective" because it creates the image of an object.

Ob*jec"tive (?), a. [Cf.F. objectif.]


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.

Objective line Perspective, a line drawn on the geometrical plane which is represented or sought to be represented. -- Objective plane Perspective, any plane in the horizontal plane that is represented. -- Objective point, the point or result to which the operations of an army are directed. By extension, the point or purpose to which anything, as a journey or an argument, is directed.

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


© Webster 1913.

Ob*jec"tive, n.

1. Gram.

The objective case.


An object glass. See under Object, n.


Same as Objective point, under Objective, a.


© Webster 1913.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.