[ gohl-kee-per ]


  1. (in ice hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, etc.) a player whose chief duty is to prevent the ball or puck from crossing or entering the goal.


/ ˈɡəʊlˌkiːpə /


  1. sport a player in the goal whose duty is to prevent the ball, puck, etc, from entering or crossing it

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • ˈgoalˌkeeping, noun

Discover More

Other Words From

  • goalkeeping noun

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of goalkeeper1

First recorded in 1650–60; goal + keeper

Discover More

Example Sentences

With Argentina down to one goalkeeper, Laurina Oliveros was a late call-up to back up Solana Pereyra.

They recruited other talented goalkeepers who played instead of Fuller.

So at the beginning of her senior season, Fuller was behind the other goalkeepers again.

The young goalkeeper would meet up with his friends to play hoops after soccer practice, and they eventually persuaded him to switch sports.

The starting goalkeeper on Vanderbilt’s SEC champion women’s soccer team, she became the first woman to play for a Power Five football team when she joined the Commodores for their game at Missouri.

Now, the goalkeeper is out with a memoir about his life until that point: The Keeper: A Life of Saving Goals and Achieving Them.

United States goalkeeper Tim Howard on why soccer struggles in America and how he essentially chose his career over his wife.

In a flash he deflects the shot, with the speed of instinct, right past the goalkeeper.

The best player was Manuel Neuer, Germany’s goalkeeper, but ‘keepers are seldom lauded in this way.

But Silva, hapless Silva, got his merely for tangling with the Colombian goalkeeper in a clumsy melee of limbs.

He started his football life as a back; but when the Queen's Park lost Mr. Gardner he was tried as goalkeeper, and did very well.

The passing between Christie and Harrower that day was splendid, and fairly astonished the Renton backs and goalkeeper.

Talking about the above goalkeeper, Aleck M'Gregor was one of the finest fellows that ever stood with his back to a goal.

Although Mr. Kelly is, so to speak, unknown to the game as a goalkeeper, he promises to become a good man below the bar.

If the half-back makes a mistake it can be rectified by the man behind him, but if the goalkeeper makes a blunder it is fatal.


Discover More

More About Goalkeeper

What does goalkeeper mean?

In sports like soccer (football) and hockey, the goalkeeper is the player positioned in front of the goal whose job is to prevent the ball or puck from entering it (or crossing the goal line).

Goalkeeper can be used to refer to the position or the player. A goalkeeper might say they play goalkeeper. A common informal word for goalkeeper is goalie. In some sports, a goalkeeper is called a goaltender. In soccer, the goalkeeper is sometimes called the keeper.

Example: When I played soccer, I was the goalkeeper, and I was pretty good, especially because I was quick and had long arms for my age.

Where does goalkeeper come from?

The first records of the word goalkeeper come from the 1600s. The word keeper is used in a similar way in many other compound words, such as groundskeeper and zookeeper.

In a lot of sports, the object of the game is to get the ball or puck into the goal. And in most of those sports, there is someone there to guard the goal and try to prevent that from happening: the goalkeeper. Soccer, ice hockey, field hockey, and lacrosse are some of the sports that have goalkeepers. In these sports, players are typically not allowed to touch the ball or puck with their hands, with the exception of the goalkeeper (under certain circumstances). Goalkeepers usually stay right in front of the goal in order to block shots by the opposing team. They’re often known for their quickness and agility. Because they have to stand in the way of hard projectiles, goalkeepers in ice hockey, field hockey, and lacrosse usually wear a mask and other padded equipment.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for goalkeeper?

What are some words that share a root or word element with goalkeeper

What are some words that often get used in discussing goalkeeper?


How is goalkeeper used in real life?

Goalkeepers are very commonly called goalies. The term goalkeeper is especially used in soccer.



Try using goalkeeper!

Is goalkeeper used correctly in the following sentence?

Our team needs a goalkeeper—can you play?




goaliegoal kick