Definition of target noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈtɑːɡɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtɑːrɡɪt//
    Office life
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  1. 1  a result that you try to achieve business goals and targets attainment targets Set yourself targets that you can reasonably hope to achieve. to meet/achieve a target a target date of April 2017 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, programme, etc. is aimed at) Synonymstargetobjective goal object endThese are all words for something that you are trying to a result that you try to achieve:Set yourself targets that you can reasonably hope to achieve. attainment targets in schoolsobjective (rather formal) something that you are trying to achieve:What is the main objective 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 or by a government committee. It is often specific, and in the form of figures, such as number of sales or exam passes, 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 is to educate people about road safety.end something that you plan to achieve:He joined the society 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 towards a(n) target/​objective/​goal an 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 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/​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 the market gain/​grab/​take/​win/​boost/​lose market share find/​build/​create a market for something start/​launch an advertising/​a marketing campaign develop/​launch/​promote a product/​website create/​generate demand for your product attract/​get/​retain/​help customers/​clients drive/​generate/​boost/​increase demand/​sales beat/​keep ahead of/​out-think/​outperform the competition meet/​reach/​exceed/​miss sales targetsFinance draw up/​set/​present/​agree/​approve a budget keep to/​balance/​cut/​reduce/​slash the budget be/​come in below/​under/​over/​within budget generate income/​revenue/​profit/​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 get/​obtain/​offer somebody/​grant somebody credit/​a loan apply for/​raise/​secure/​arrange/​provide financeFailure lose business/​trade/​customers/​sales/​revenue accumulate/​accrue/​incur/​run up debts suffer/​sustain enormous/​heavy/​serious losses face cuts/​a deficit/​redundancy/​bankruptcy file for/ (North American English) enter/​avoid/​escape bankruptcy (British English) go into administration/​liquidation liquidate/​wind up a company survive/​weather a recession/​downturn propose/​seek/​block/​oppose a merger launch/​make/​accept/​defeat a takeover bid See related entries: Office life
  2. 2  an 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 practise shooting at, especially a round board with circles on it to aim at a target to hit/miss the target target practice
  4. Word Origin late Middle English (originally referring to a small round shield): diminutive of targe Old English, of Germanic origin. The noun came to denote various round objects. The verb dates from the early 17th cent.Extra examples Hospital performance targets will not be met. It should be possible to deliver the drug direct to the target site. Managers must set targets that are realistic. Many pay agreements reached were over the original target of 4%. Patton was just off target with a header. Politically speaking, his jibes were right on target. Pupils should be given a target to aim for. Sales so far this year are 20% above target. She has always set herself very high targets. The CEO has set new targets for growth. The President is a favourite/​favorite target of comedians. The archers were setting up their targets. The bomb reached its intended target ten seconds later. The boys used an old tree stump as a target. The casino made an easy target for thieves. The company could become a takeover target. The company pays bonuses to workers who exceed production targets. The damaged ship presented a tempting target. The film’s target demographic is women aged 18–49 years. The flare overshot its target and set fire to a hotel. The missile is aimed specifically to destroy military targets. The missile never reached its target site. The missile veered way off target and landed in the sea. The radar beam can track a number of targets almost simultaneously. The real target of his satire is religion. The shot went wide of the target. The stationary trucks were sitting targets for the enemy planes. These figures are way off target. Trains are attractive targets for terrorists. We are still right on target. We are well within our target for trains arriving on time. We are working towards a target of twenty cars a week. an easy target for shoplifters in a desperate attempt to stay within budget targets setting new targets for growth to meet a target date of May 2002 Our target audience is men aged between 18 and 35. Set yourself targets that you can reasonably hope to achieve. These attainment targets are based on skills rather than knowledge. We’re aiming to meet a target date of April 2009. What’s the target market for this product? Write a plan that sets out your business goals and targets.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: target