\ 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 Instead, Phoenix gained hosting priority versus LouCity based on the third tiebreaker between the two teams: regular season goal differential (+29 to +16). Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "How homophobic slur could decide if LouCity hosts potential USL Championship against Phoenix," 20 Oct. 2020 Washington said the group has reached about 80% of its two-year capital campaign goal since January with a year left in the challenge. Yvonne Wenger, baltimoresun.com, "FreeState Justice adds LGBTQ services aimed at making Maryland more ‘safe and inclusive’," 20 Oct. 2020 One key goal of the study will be to determine how the Spinnaker properties will fit into the overall development of the area, Freimuth said. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, "Vision for Hartford’s ‘Bushnell Park South’ could get a new look after study examines how pandemic could change city living," 20 Oct. 2020 Ihor Kharatin scored Ferencváros' lone goal from the resulting penalty. Steve Douglas, Star Tribune, "Man United wins again at PSG; Messi scores in Barca rout," 20 Oct. 2020 Jeremy Ryan scored their goal in regulation, directly bending home a corner kick. Michael Osipoff, chicagotribune.com, "Boys soccer notes: Coronavirus pandemic brings Clark’s historic final season to ‘terrible’ end," 20 Oct. 2020 In a bid to rejuvenate the real-time strategy genre, veteran Blizzard game developers Tim Morten and Tim Campbell have founded a new studio, Frost Giant, whose goal is to produce an RTS game accessible to a wide audience. Alexander Lee, Washington Post, "As Blizzard scales back ‘StarCraft’ support, a new hope emerges for RTS players," 20 Oct. 2020 Their accord has limits, however — Democrats favor breaking the company up, but that’s not an explicit goal of the lawsuit. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: An antitrust case against Google is a good thing; but Trump’s involvement may not be," 20 Oct. 2020 To some volunteers, these concerns are real but worth the end goal. NBC News, "Covid 'challenge trial' launched in U.K. could see healthy volunteers infected with virus," 20 Oct. 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

23 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Goal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goal. Accessed 31 Oct. 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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Comments on goal

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