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



    BrE BrE//ɡəʊl//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɡoʊl//
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  1. 1  (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 nobody defending it). Who is in goal (= is the goalkeeper) for Arsenal? See related entries: Soccer
  2. 2  the act of kicking or hitting the ball into the goal; a point that is scored for this The winning goal was scored by Hill. Liverpool won by three goals to one. United conceded two goals in the first half. a penalty goal see also drop goal, golden goal, own goal See related entries: Soccer
  3. 3  something that you hope to achieve synonym aim to work towards 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. Synonymstargetobjective goal object endThese are all words for something that you are trying to achieve.target 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 actor.target, 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 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
  4. Word OriginMiddle English (in the sense ‘limit, boundary’): of unknown origin.Extra examples Bahr made his fifth field goal of the day. He kicked the ball into an open goal. It is important to have explicit goals. Our immediate goal is to earn enough money to keep the business going. The equalizing goal came from Cole. The fans were annoyed that the team gave away such a soft goal. The goalkeeper was injured so a defender had to go in goal. The prison service pursues the twin goals of the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders. The referee disallowed the goal. The second goal came from a penalty. They have set themselves some ambitious goals. They scored three goals against the home team. Two field goals gave the Tigers an early lead. Vega scored an unfortunate own goal when he slipped as he tried to clear the ball. Visconti scored one goal himself and made two for Lupo. We are all working towards a common goal. Who’s in goal for Arsenal? his first goal for Spain their goal of providing free university education for everyone He continued to pursue his goal of becoming a photographer. The company has set itself some long-term organizational goals.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: goal