\ 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 goal (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 This grant is apart of the airport’s bigger goal of trying to establish commercial air service to the region. Tandra Smith | Tsmith@al.com, al, "3 Alabama airports could see new flight services if awarded $2.8 million in federal grants," 31 Mar. 2021 Restoring public confidence in the EPA is a top goal, Regan said. Matthew Daly, ajc, "AP Interview: EPA head removes Trump-era science advisers," 31 Mar. 2021 That was Zadina’s first goal in 11 games and third point in nine games. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings' momentum completely stomped in 4-1 loss at Florida Panthers," 31 Mar. 2021 Breaking the dollar’s hold on global trade and finance is a major goal of Russia, China and Iran. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The China-Iran Axis," 29 Mar. 2021 Both activists and politicians, though, have said that expanded background checks may be a more feasible short-term goal in the wake of the latest round of mass shootings. Washington Post, "Lindsey Graham says he needs AR-15 for defense: ‘My house will be the last one that the gang will come to’," 29 Mar. 2021 In the main bedroom of the home, tranquility was the goal. Kelly Allen, House Beautiful, "From the Archive: Skirted Furniture That Will Make You Want to Go Back in Time," 27 Mar. 2021 Some experts believe attention-grabbing may have been North Korea's goal all along: reminding Biden of North Korea's destructive power and warning him to make a strong offer if negotiations between the two countries resume. NBC News, "Kim Jong Un and North Korea make a splash for Biden with ballistic missiles," 26 Mar. 2021 Fournier is a career 37.6 percent shooter from beyond the arc and will make things easier for Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, which should be Ainge’s primary goal. BostonGlobe.com, "Celtics’ Danny Ainge finally did what was needed at the trade deadline," 25 Mar. 2021

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

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Goal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goal. Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on goal

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