\ 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 Kendall argued that all three aspects of the initiative deal with elections and if the measure were split up, voters might approve a combination entirely at odds with the goal of sponsors and signatories. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "State challenges ballot measure that would install ranked-choice voting statewide," 20 Feb. 2020 Intelligence officials warned members of the House Intelligence Committee last week the Russians were attempting to interfere in the 2020 presidential contest with the goal of helping Trump win reelection, according to reports. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Spy chief team told House Intelligence Committee that Russia supports Trump in 2020," 20 Feb. 2020 Sky operates Sky Italia in Italy, but the deal goes beyond creating shows for Italian audiences with the goal of telling stories that resonate internationally. Georg Szalai, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sky Studios, Fremantle's 'New Pope' Producer Strike Drama Deal," 19 Feb. 2020 The ultimate goal for Oculus, beyond getting units into customers' hands, is to eventually ditch the headset altogether for a light pair of glasses within the next five years. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "Due to coronavirus complications in China, Facebook's Oculus Quest even more backlogged," 19 Feb. 2020 The ultimate goal is to steadily move and direct three sheep across the floor with as little stress to the livestock as possible. Scott Huddleston, ExpressNews.com, "Canine athletes take the spotlight at San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo," 16 Feb. 2020 The 12-mile trail system is part of a larger regional trail and crossing project with the ultimate goal of connecting Glendale and Tempe with a continuous trail along the canal. Chelsea Hofmann, azcentral, "You can now run or bike from from I-17 to Tempe Town Lake with improved Grand Canal," 15 Feb. 2020 His aides say the new system would give priority to those with qualifications, with a goal of attracting the brightest immigrants and reducing the numbers of those arriving will few or no skills. Mark Landler, New York Times, "Boris Johnson Moves Boldly to Consolidate Power," 14 Feb. 2020 Each piece of the historic building will be numbered and cataloged, with the goal of reconstructing it in a different location at a later date. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian Magazine, "18th-Century Log Cabin Discovered Beneath Condemned Pennsylvania Bar," 14 Feb. 2020

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

24 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Goal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goal. Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for goal


How to pronounce goal (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for goal

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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