move/shift the goalposts


: to change the rules or requirements in a way that makes success more difficult

Examples of move/shift the goalposts in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That’s not to say the right hasn’t tried to move the goalposts more in its direction to place Swift and Kelce on the left. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 6 Feb. 2024 Biden wanted to shift the goalposts from protecting Afghanistan’s civilians to training Afghan forces to do the job and lead the fight against al-Qaeda. Philip Elliott, Time, 14 Apr. 2021 Some economists have suggested the Fed could move the goalposts on inflation, revising its 2% inflation target to the more attainable level of 3%. Matt Egan, CNN, 7 Sep. 2022 Covid-19 mouthpiece Michael Caputo was aggressively pursuing a herd immunity strategy, Floridians could watch DeSantis quietly try to move the goalposts. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 10 Aug. 2021 And with prices leaping sky-high as demand recovers and supply lines falter, and up to 40% of workers contemplating quitting their jobs if they aren’t allowed to maintain some form of work-from-home arrangement, the Fed’s prerequisite conditions might have to move the goalposts. - Investing Reimagined, Forbes, 15 June 2021 Better, best Karl Brauer, executive analyst at, a car listing and data site, said the latest F-150 numbers move the goalposts. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, 29 Sep. 2020

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

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Cite this Entry

“Move/shift the goalposts.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2024.

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