American English

Definition of target noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1a result that you try to achieve business goals and targets sales targets Set yourself targets that you can reasonably hope to achieve. to meet/achieve a target a target date of April 2012 The university will reach its target of 5,000 students next September. The new sports complex is on target to open in June. a target area/audience/group (= the particular area, audience, etc. that a product, program, etc. is aimed at) Topic CollocationsBusinessrunning a business buy/acquire/own/sell a company/firm/franchise set up/establish/start/start up/launch a business/company run/operate a business/company/franchise head/run a firm/department/team make/secure/win/lose/block a deal expand/grow/build the business boost/increase investment/spending/sales/turnover/earnings/exports/trade increase/expand production/output/sales boost/maximize production/productivity/efficiency/income/revenue/profit/profitability achieve/maintain/sustain growth/profitability cut/reduce/bring down/lower/slash costs/prices announce/impose/make cuts/cutbackssales and marketing break into/enter/capture/dominate a market capture/gain/grab/take/win/boost/lose market share identify/find/build/create a market for something start/launch an advertising/a marketing campaign develop/launch/promote a product/Web site estimate/assess/create/generate demand for your product attract/get/retain/keep/help customers/clients drive/generate/boost/increase demand/sales beat/keep ahead of/out-think/outperform/ (informal) stymie the competition meet/reach/exceed/miss sales targetsfinance draw up/set/present/propose/agree on/approve a budget keep to/balance/cut/reduce/slash the budget be/come in below/under/over/within budget generate income/revenue/profit(s)/funds/business fund/finance a campaign/a venture/an expansion/spending/a deficit provide/raise/allocate capital/funds attract/encourage investment/investors recover/recoup costs/losses/an investment/an outlay get/obtain/offer somebody/grant somebody credit/a loan apply for/raise/secure/arrange/provide financingfailure lose business/trade/customers/sales/revenue accumulate/accrue/incur/run up debts suffer/sustain enormous/heavy/serious losses face cuts/a deficit/bankruptcy/a shortfall declare/file for/enter/avoid/escape bankruptcy liquidate a company/a business/assets survive/weather a recession/downturn propose/seek/block/oppose a merger launch/make/accept/contest/defeat a takeover bid
  2. 2an object, a person, or a place that people aim at when attacking They bombed military and civilian targets. target for somebody/something Doors and windows are an easy target for burglars. It's a prime target (= an obvious target) for terrorist attacks. The children became the target for their father's aggressive outbursts. target of something (figurative) He's become the target of a lot of criticism recently.
  3. 3an object that people practice shooting at, especially a round board with circles on it to aim at a target to hit/miss the target target practice
  4. Thesaurustargetobjective goal object endThese are all words for something that you are trying to a result that you try to achieve:Set targets that you can reasonably hope to achieve. sales targetsobjective (somewhat formal) something that you are trying to achieve:What are the objectives of this project?goal something that you hope to achieve:He continued to pursue his goal of becoming an, objective, or goal?A target is usually officially recorded in some way, for example by an employer. It is often specific, and in the form of figures, such as number of sales, exam scores, or a date. People often set their own objectives: these are things that they wish to achieve, often as part of a project or a talk they are giving. Goals are often long-term, and relate to people's life and career plans or the long-term plans of a company or organization.object the purpose of something; something that you plan to achieve:The object of the campaign is to educate people about highway safety.end something that you plan to achieve:She used her family for political ends. That's only OK if you believe that the end justifies the means (= bad methods of doing something are acceptable if the final result is good). End is usually used in the plural or in particular fixed expressions.Patterns to work toward a(n) target/objective/goal a(n) ambitious/major/long-term/short-term/future target/objective/goal economic/financial/business targets/objectives/goals to set/agree on/identify/reach/meet/exceed a(n) target/objective/goal to achieve a(n) target/objective/goal/end
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: target