sub·​goal ˌsəb-ˈgōl How to pronounce subgoal (audio)
variants or sub-goal
plural sub-goals
: a goal that is involved in or secondary to achieving a larger goal
… it would probably also be a mistake to make robots in which subgoals would interfere with the main goals.John McCarthy
This is, in effect, the question of how relatively broad nonoperational goals are broken down into more specific and concrete operational goals and subgoals.Lyman W. Porter et al.

Examples of subgoal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Apparently, hastening completion of the subgoal of grabbing a bucket made completion of the main goal seem closer at hand. Seriously Science, Discover Magazine, 24 June 2016

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

Word History

First Known Use

1932, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of subgoal was in 1932

Dictionary Entries Near subgoal

Cite this Entry

“Subgoal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

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