\ ˈgōl How to pronounce goal (audio) , chiefly Northern US especially in senses 3b and 2a also ˈgül\

Definition of goal

1 : the end toward which effort is directed : aim The goal is high-speed rail travel.
2a : an area or object toward which players in various games attempt to advance a ball or puck and usually through or into which it must go to score points
b : the act or action of causing a ball or puck to go through or into such a goal
c : the score resulting from such an act
3a : the terminal point of a race
b : an area to be reached safely in children's games

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Other Words from goal

goal intransitive verb
goalless \ ˈgō(l)-​ləs How to pronounce goalless (audio) \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for goal

intention, intent, purpose, design, aim, end, object, objective, goal mean what one intends to accomplish or attain. intention implies little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about. announced his intention to marry intent suggests clearer formulation or greater deliberateness. the clear intent of the statute purpose suggests a more settled determination. being successful was her purpose in life design implies a more carefully calculated plan. the order of events came by accident, not design aim adds to these implications of effort directed toward attaining or accomplishing. her aim was to raise film to an art form end stresses the intended effect of action often in distinction or contrast to the action or means as such. willing to use any means to achieve his end object may equal end but more often applies to a more individually determined wish or need. his constant object was the achievement of pleasure objective implies something tangible and immediately attainable. their objective is to seize the oil fields goal suggests something attained only by prolonged effort and hardship. worked years to reach her goals

Examples of goal in a Sentence

He set a goal for himself of exercising at least three times a week. Her primary goal is to get a college degree. We all share a common goal. She pursued her goal of starting her own business. The company has instituted several new policies with the goal of reducing waste. Last month he had 10 goals and six assists. She scored the winning goal in the game's final minute.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Sockeye returns in Southcentral Alaska have been larger than expected so far this season, with the Resurrection Bay and Russian River fisheries already expected to reach or exceed their escapement goals. Matt Tunseth, Anchorage Daily News, "Fishery managers increase Seward sockeye limit to 12 per day amid banner season," 14 June 2019 In fact, our primary goal is to provide the best environment for every student to meet their highest potential. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "'We will do better': Acting HSE board president apologizes after controversial comments," 13 June 2019 The home originally was offered to Greenfield Village in Dearborn but the museum declined after concluding that the building did not meet its collecting goals and couldn't see any practical use for it. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "Ulysses S. Grant home finally heading to Eastern Market," 13 June 2019 Neither skier achieved their goal that summer, which was no surprise. National Geographic, "Meet the skier who made the 'impossible' first solo descent of K2," 12 June 2019 The cancer that interrupted her athletic goals emerged in 2009 and would return over the next decade in various forms. Lindsay Crouse, New York Times, "Gabriele Grunewald, Runner Who Chronicled Journey With Cancer, Dies at 32," 12 June 2019 The plan was put on hold before the recent mayoral election while city officials tried to muster more support for its goals. Josh Baugh, ExpressNews.com, "Dueling groups take on San Antonio proposed climate plan," 12 June 2019 Distractions may hinder your progress when trying to achieve your goals. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive.com, "Horoscope for June 12, 2019: Aries, lead the way; Scorpio, be ready to spring to action," 12 June 2019 Harris founded a non-profit organization with her sister, Kimberly Harris, called The Harris Family Vision Foundation, Inc., to help people achieve their educational goals. Char Adams, PEOPLE.com, "Woman with Rare Bone Condition Graduates from College After Being Given 3 Days to Live at Birth," 12 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'goal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of goal

1531, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for goal

Middle English gol boundary, limit

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Statistics for goal

Last Updated

16 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for goal

The first known use of goal was in 1531

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More Definitions for goal



English Language Learners Definition of goal

: something that you are trying to do or achieve
: an area or object into which a ball or puck must be hit, kicked, etc., to score points in various games (such as soccer and hockey)
: the act of hitting, kicking, etc., a ball or puck into a goal or the score that results from doing this


\ ˈgōl How to pronounce goal (audio) \

Kids Definition of goal

1 : purpose What is your goal in life?
2 : an area or object into which a ball or puck must be driven in various games in order to score
3 : a scoring of one or more points by driving a ball or puck into a goal
4 : the point at which a race or journey is to end
5 : an area to be reached safely in certain games

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More from Merriam-Webster on goal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with goal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for goal

Spanish Central: Translation of goal

Nglish: Translation of goal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of goal for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about goal

Comments on goal

What made you want to look up goal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to take the place or position of

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