\ 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

As Inter Milan’s new Belgian striker, Romelu Lukaku, stepped up to kick what would turn out to be a match-winning penalty, Cagliari fans behind the goal engaged in a prolonged round of monkey chants. Tariq Panja, New York Times, "In Italy, Racist Abuse Is Dismissed (Again) as Part of the Game," 4 Sep. 2019 The winger's goal scoring exploits were crucial for Liverpool last season as the club won the Champions League and pushed Manchester City to within a point of the Premier League title. SI.com, "Sadio Mane Sets Astonishing Anfield Unbeaten Record as Liverpool Hit the Ground Running This Season," 4 Sep. 2019 The eventual goal is to reach a playing weight of 310 to 315 pounds. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Ryan Hayes starts to emerge at offensive tackle," 4 Sep. 2019 Outlook: The Lions suffered just five losses in the regular season last year and four were by just one goal. Megan Woodward, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "2019 Girls Soccer Preview Capsules," 4 Sep. 2019 The Eleven have only conceded four goals at home all season. Kevin Johnston, Indianapolis Star, "Indy Eleven fend off conference-leading NYRB II, extend home unbeaten streak with late win," 4 Sep. 2019 But everyone is focused on the goal of providing the best product possible to the president. CBS News, "Transcript: Kristin Wood talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 4 Sep. 2019 Officially, Fields completed only one other pass out of an under-center snap — a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Ruckert on first-and-goal in the third quarter. Nathan Baird, cleveland.com, "How Ohio State’s offense could benefit from additional snaps under center," 4 Sep. 2019 The facility is designed to serve between 500 and 750 families per month, with the goal to hire one to two full-time staff and 11 to 15 part-time staff. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "JC Sports, youth athletic center, plans to expand in The Woodlands area," 4 Sep. 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

8 Sep 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).


concealment of treason or felony

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