\ 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 But Bay Area homeless coordinators don’t expect to achieve that goal — at least not soon. Kevin Fagan, SFChronicle.com, "Coronavirus and homeless: SF preparing to make shelters safer, pull sickest and most vulnerable off the street," 20 Mar. 2020 The design works beautifully ... as long as the goal is to provide a distraction from the office work at hand. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Stuck at home because of coronavirus closures? Take a virtual garden tour with Yew Dell," 20 Mar. 2020 But that goal is short of the promises from European oil producers Shell, Equinor, and most recently BP, which have vowed to offset emissions caused by use of their fuels. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "US oil giant Chevron takes 'long-ball' approach to climate change in pivot to clean energy," 19 Mar. 2020 The goal is to send the right offer to the right people at the right time. Kaiser Fung, Wired, "The Problem With Trump's Triage Testing," 18 Mar. 2020 The goal is to strike a balance between lens size and overall weight. Popular Science, "How to start birding in any US city," 18 Mar. 2020 In early March of this year, many reservations had already been called in, sending them well on their way toward that goal. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "'How Can We Survive Summer?' Coachella Valley Workers Reel From Festival's Postponement," 17 Mar. 2020 The goal is to help slow down the rate of COVID-19 transmission in Alaska’s biggest city. Paula Dobbyn, Anchorage Daily News, "Sullivan Arena will be used as shelter for Anchorage homeless as city braces for coronavirus cases," 17 Mar. 2020 Read More: Lexus Confronts Midlife Crisis With Aging SUVs Losing to Rivals Toyota has long sought to make Lexus a global brand, and its rapid growth in China and Europe after years of sluggishness is helping realize that goal. Chester Dawson, Bloomberg.com, "Toyota’s Lexus Brand Surges Globally, Despite U.S. Sales Stall," 16 Mar. 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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Learn More about goal

Statistics for goal

Last Updated

23 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

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