a word or group of words representing the person or thing with reference to which the action of a verb is performed, in English generally coming between the verb and the direct object and paraphrasable as the object of a preposition, usually to or for, following the direct object, as the boy in He gave the boy a book.
(grammar) a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase indicating the recipient or beneficiary of the action of a verb and its direct object, as John in the sentence I bought John a newspaper Compare direct object

A noun, pronoun, or group of words naming something indirectly affected by the action of a verb: “She showed me some carpet samples”; “The agent handed the Prentice family their tickets.”

Note: Indirect objects can often take or suggest the preposition to. For example, “He showed (to) me the book.”


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