American English

Definition of goal noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1something that you hope to achieve synonym aim to work toward a goal to achieve/attain a goal You need to set yourself some long-term goals. Our ultimate goal must be the preservation of the environment. Their goal was to eradicate malaria. 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
  2. 2(in sports) a frame with a net into which players must kick or hit the ball in order to score a point He headed the ball into an open goal (= one that had no one defending it). Who is in goal (= is the goalkeeper ) for the Penguins?
  3. 3the act of kicking or hitting the ball into the goal; a point that is scored for this The winning goal was scored by Pearce. The Rangers won by three goals to one. The Galaxy gave up two goals in the first half. a penalty goal
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: goal