WordNet gives four main senses for the English noun object:
- a physical entity; something that is within the grasp of the senses;
- an aim, target or objective — see Object (task);
- a grammatical Object — either a direct object or an indirect object
- the focus of cognitions or feelings.
Some specialized meanings are as follows:
- In computer science:
- An object is a language-supported mechanism for binding data tightly with methods that operate on that data.
- A self-contained entity that encapsulates both data and procedures to manipulate the data.
- A number of object-oriented programming languages have a root superclass named
- An object is a short name for an object file.
- In information processing, an object is a system which transmits information to an observer.
- In mathematics, categories contain objects. For instance, the monster group is an object in the category of all groups. Manifolds can contain geometrical objects.
The word object comes from the latin word objectum, a noun form of objectus, which in turn comes from objicere, which means to throw or put something before someone. Objicere comes from ob-, "in front of" (related to the Greek ἐπί epi-), and jacere, "throw".