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.
updated on September 08, 2012
Dictionary entries near objective