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plural goats
or plural goat : any of various hollow-horned ruminant mammals (especially of the genus Capra) related to the sheep but of lighter build and with backwardly arching horns, a short tail, and usually straight hair
especially : one (Capra hircus) long domesticated for its milk, wool, and flesh
capitalized : capricorn
: a licentious man : lecher
goatish adjective
goatlike adjective


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abbreviation or noun

variants or less commonly G.O.A.T.
plural GOATs also G.O.A.T.s
: the greatest of all time : the most accomplished and successful individual in the history of a particular sport or category of performance or activity
As much fun as it is to debate who is the greatest in NBA history, it's pointless, a question for which there can be no definitive answer …. The list of players who could be considered the GOAT is long, and each one is worthy in his own right.Nancy Armour
There's no denying what Aaron Rodgers has done in his career, but to say Rodgers is the GOAT is a big statement considering what Tom Brady has accomplished.Pro Football Weekly
Former President (and arguably the GOAT of post-presidency careers) Jimmy Carter is leasing 10 acres of his Georgia peanut farm to SolAmerica to create a 1.3MW solar array.Walter Einenkel
If championships alone are the measuring stick, then Michael [Jordan] is probably going to remain the popular choice as the GOAT. But if I can go on aesthetics alone, I know I'd rather watch LeBron [James].Bob Ryan

Examples of goat in a Sentence

Noun In the last inning, a home run can make you the hero, and a strikeout can make you the goat. an unhappy childhood was the goat he used to rationalize every failure and shortcoming
Recent Examples on the Web
Yet, using generative AI for a similar purpose gets their goat. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 11 Feb. 2024 Approximately 8,000 animal bone shards were found at the site, most of which belonged to goats and sheep, while others belonged to pigs, deer and cattle. Brendan Rascius, Miami Herald, 5 Feb. 2024 Yanis’s boyfriend had parked his rig beside a small herd of goats. Emily Gogolak, Harper's Magazine, 9 Jan. 2024 Many such animals are considered invasive: pigs in Hawaii and the American South; horses and burros in the American Southwest; goats on the Galápagos Islands; horses, donkeys, and camels in the Australian outback. Emma Marris, The Atlantic, 2 Feb. 2024 Now 65 and living on a farm in southern Oregon with his wife, some goats and chickens, Solis has created a career out of works that reflect the Mexican American experience. Luis G. Rendon, Los Angeles Times, 1 Feb. 2024 The contest was sponsored by the makers of Cat’s Pride kitty litter but was open to photos of all types of pets, including dogs, goats and rabbits. Cynthia Hubert, Sacramento Bee, 30 Jan. 2024 The animal signs rotate each new year in this order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, 24 Jan. 2024 For centuries, Swiss farmers have sent their cattle, goats and sheep up the mountains to graze in warmer months before bringing them back down at the start of autumn. George Steinmetz Catherine Porter, New York Times, 21 Jan. 2024
Abbreviation or noun
The Italian fashion label has continued its partnership with Roc Nation to deliver an all-new collection of luxury apparel and accessories, designed by rap GOAT Jay-Z. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 24 Jan. 2024 Has everyone forgotten about Goldilocks, the GOAT centrist? Isaiah Freeman-Schub, Robb Report, 18 Jan. 2024 For his part, Taylor — who played his entire career for the Giants from 1981-1993 — couldn’t believe that given his GOAT status, Brady remains the league’s leader for most sacks ever with 565. Anna Lazarus Caplan, Peoplemag, 6 Dec. 2023 The model comes in various materials and colorways, but the GOAT opted for a titanium case and a black rubber strap. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 9 Nov. 2023 No one disputes Serena Williams’ GOAT status and no one maligns women’s tennis as less than the men’s. Melissah Yang, refinery29.com, 3 Oct. 2023 Simone Biles is continuing to dominate in gymnastics, cementing her status as the GOAT. Rayna Reid Rayford, Essence, 2 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'goat.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English gote, from Old English gāt; akin to Old High German geiz goat, Old Norse geit, Latin haedus kid

First Known Use


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Abbreviation Or Noun

1996, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of goat was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near goat

Cite this Entry

“Goat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goat. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural goat or goats
: any of various cud-chewing mammals having hollow horns that curve backward, a short tail, and usually straight hair and related to the sheep but of lighter build
especially : one raised for its milk, wool, and flesh
goatlike adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on goat

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