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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
Dogs are likely the first, followed by sheep, pigs, goats, and horses. Allison Futterman, Discover Magazine, 17 Nov. 2023 The sanctuaries' residents include cows, goats, horses, sheep and chickens, as well as turkeys. Julia Moore, Peoplemag, 14 Nov. 2023 The document, which was reviewed by WIRED, is a rare glimpse into how the organization is using tech to target factory farms in often brazen operations that have rescued pigs, goats, ducks, and chickens. WIRED, 11 Nov. 2023 The pair are slowly restoring the island, planting gardens and fruit orchards, reforesting a landscape stripped naked by dual plagues of fire and goats. Christopher Cameron, Robb Report, 28 Oct. 2023 The family-run rescue and sanctuary in Lakeside cares for a wide range of homeless and neglected animals, including horses, dogs, pigs and goats. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Oct. 2023 Elm & Rye uses a blend of natural ingredients such as panax ginseng, maca root, and horny goat weed to help boost libido and promote healthy blood flow. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 26 Oct. 2023 Among the most amusing pieces of new footage: the singer enjoying some quality time with goats. Marci Robin, Allure, 23 Oct. 2023 The two paintings together form a panoramic scene featuring shepherds and travelers with their goats, cows, donkeys and sheep at a ford in a river. Claire Savage, Fortune, 21 Oct. 2023
Abbreviation or noun
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 Post-retirement episodes have cast a shadow on Isiah the player, as has the acceptance of Michael Jordan as the NBA’s GOAT, whose bitter struggle with the Bad Boy Pistons became part of the legend, turning members of that Detroit team—those who dared thwart Michael—into villains. Rich Cohen, Rolling Stone, 26 Sep. 2023 Texas’ third-year coach became the third former Nick Saban assistant to beat the GOAT in the past three years. USA TODAY, 10 Sep. 2023 Note that for hot, trendy shoes, many go to resale sites like GOAT and StockX to shop styles no longer available directly from retailers. Emma Seymour, Good Housekeeping, 28 Aug. 2023 Fanatics has a ton of other Messi merch available to shop online, including this official Messi x Adidas Sunny GOAT T-Shirt, which has quickly become a best-seller on the site. Tim Chan, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 Aug. 2023 Related Story Simone Biles’s 6-Pack Is The GOAT In Bikini Pics In 2020, Jonathan signed a two-year contract with his former football team, the Houston Texans, which was valued at $1.39 million. Korin Miller, Women's Health, 8 Aug. 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 Nov. 2023.

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

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