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[gohl] /goʊl/
the result or achievement toward which effort is directed; aim; end.
the terminal point in a race.
a pole, line, or other marker by which such a point is indicated.
an area, basket, cage, or other object or structure toward or into which players of various games attempt to throw, carry, kick, hit, or drive a ball, puck, etc., to score a point or points.
the act of throwing, carrying, kicking, driving, etc., a ball or puck into such an area or object.
the score made by this act.
Origin of goal
1275-1325; Middle English gol boundary, limit; compare Old English gǣlan to hinder, impede
Related forms
goalless, adjective
subgoal, noun
1. target; purpose, object, objective, intent, intention. 2. finish. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for goal
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • For a race which has the infinite as its goal the word must be on and on.

  • He was more than usually polite to the major: he was in the army, the goal of his aspiration!

    Weighed and Wanting George MacDonald
  • So it was all the way, and he gave a glad shout as he touched the goal post.

    Buried Cities, Part 2 Jennie Hall
  • Now they were near the goal, and Leotichides was still leading by a stride.

    Buried Cities, Part 2 Jennie Hall
  • Yet he had not arrived, and John was at the goal before him.

    Tiverton Tales Alice Brown
British Dictionary definitions for goal


the aim or object towards which an endeavour is directed
the terminal point of a journey or race
(in various sports) the net, basket, etc into or over which players try to propel the ball, puck, etc, to score
  1. a successful attempt at scoring
  2. the score so made
(in soccer, hockey, etc) the position of goalkeeper
Derived Forms
goalless, adjective
Word Origin
C16: perhaps related to Middle English gol boundary, Old English gǣlan to hinder, impede
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for goal

1530s, "end point of a race," of uncertain origin. The noun gol appears once before this, in a poem from early 14c. and with an apparent sense of "boundary, limit." Perhaps from Old English *gal "obstacle, barrier," a word implied by gælan "to hinder." Or from Old French gaule "a pole," from Germanic; or a figurative use of Middle English gale "a way, course." Sports sense of "place where the ball is put to score" is attested from 1540s. Figurative sense of "object of an effort" is from 1540s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for goal


Related Terms

knock someone for a loop

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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