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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

Example Sentences

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
The shop will sell cow, goat and sheep milk cheeses, and the couple plan to eventually add buffalo milk cheese as well. Bahar Anooshahr, The Arizona Republic, 15 Nov. 2022 Yes, to introduce clues about each of the three new contestants — Bride, Venus Flytrap, and Gopher — a real live goat named Hawkeye was brought out with a cryptic medal. Lauren Huff, EW.com, 10 Nov. 2022 How about a little goat milk for the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time)? Lindsay Colameo, Allure, 5 Nov. 2022 Often served with fish, as an evening meal, although it can also be enjoyed at other times of the day, but with fish substituted by chicken, beef or goat. Bry'onna Mention, Essence, 4 Nov. 2022 While DeBose will star as the main character Asha, Tudyk will voice a goat named Valentino. Jillian Pretzel, Peoplemag, 25 Oct. 2022 Lisa Busalacchi, a 32-year client, recalled visiting the salon one day to find a baby goat running around. Emily Alvarenga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Aug. 2022 An abundance of animals, including two lambs, six baby chicks, a peacock, sheep, a goat, chickens, ducks, and the couple’s Golden Retriever, Cooper will also be around for visits. Madison Bateman, Baltimore Sun, 7 May 2022 Hart surprised Rock onstage with a goat, in a nod to Hart considering the latter the G.O.A.T. Jen Juneau, PEOPLE.com, 27 July 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'goat.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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 30 Nov. 2022.

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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