\ ˈgōl , 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 \ 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

Such was the way by which the first goal came in the 27th minute. Juan Pimiento, chicagotribune.com, "10-man Chicago Fire drop their 3rd straight against FC Dallas," 14 July 2018 Obviously, the ultimate goal was never accomplished. John Fay, Cincinnati.com, "Reds Xtra: Adam Dunn happy to go in Reds HOF, but wishes he had title to go with plaque," 14 July 2018 That level of failure has to have an impact on the overall psyche of the team and on the ability of the players to remain focused on team goals. Peter Schmuck, baltimoresun.com, "Schmuck: During season on the brink, Orioles are losing the head games, too," 14 July 2018 Yarmolenko was limited to playing in 18 out of Dortmund's 34 Bundesliga matches, finishing the season with six goals in 26 appearances in all competitions. SI.com, "New West Ham Signing Reveals Excitement at Premier League Arrival After Tough Time With Dortmund," 13 July 2018 At other times, federal officials voiced concern that Trump’s drilling goals were more aggressive than oil industry wishes. Zack Colman, Scientific American, "A Trump Oil Boom Could Transform This Rocky Mountain Landscape," 13 July 2018 The scientists' original goal was to collect about 2,000 ticks. Dennis Thompson, CBS News, "Ticks that carry Lyme disease are spreading fast," 13 July 2018 San Antonio mayor Ron Nirenberg listens Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center to staff presentations during the city council's annual goal-setting session for the budget. Gilbert Garcia, San Antonio Express-News, "Paid sick leave issue is complicated for council," 13 July 2018 BBA’s goal is to educate the public on the benefits of honeybees. Mary Lou Cruz, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Coral Springs area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to goal

drop goal

last-gasp goal

own goal

Statistics for goal

Last Updated

22 Sep 2018

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 \

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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characteristic trappings or dress

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