Dictionary.com

goal

[ gohl ]
/ goʊl /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: goal / goals / goalless on Thesaurus.com

noun

VIDEO FOR GOAL

WATCH NOW: How To Set Winning Writing Goals For The New Year

Setting writing goals is the same as setting goals for anything: it's hard. That's why we asked these writers for their best tips.

MORE VIDEOS FROM DICTIONARY.COM

QUIZZES

QUIZ YOURSELF ON PARENTHESES AND BRACKETS APLENTY!

Set some time apart to test your bracket symbol knowledge, and see if you can keep your parentheses, squares, curlies, and angles all straight!
Question 1 of 7
Let’s start with some etymology: What are the origins of the typographical word “bracket”?

Meet Grammar Coach

Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar helpImprove Your Writing

Meet Grammar Coach

Improve Your Writing
Write or paste your essay, email, or story into Grammar Coach and get grammar help

Origin of goal

First recorded in 1325–50; Middle English gol “boundary, limit”; further origin uncertain; compare Old English gǣlan “to hinder, impede”

historical usage of goal

Goal has no reliable etymology. It appears for the first and only time in Middle English as gol “boundary, limit” in the mid-14th century. Some authorities suggest that gol was a borrowing from Middle French gaule, waulle “pole, stick,” from an unattested Germanic cognate of Old Frisian waal, walu “rod,” which is of no real help. The second recorded occurrence of goal, then spelled gole, is in the first half of the 16th century, with the meaning “finishing point of a race, finish line.” The extended sense “aim or purpose, outcome of effort or ambition” also dates from the first half of the 16th century. By the late 16th century, goal, at this point spelled goale, had also acquired the meaning, now obsolete, “starting point of a race,” a translation of one of the many meanings of Latin fīnis (which also meant “boundary, limit” and “finishing point of a race, finish line”).

OTHER WORDS FROM goal

goal·less, adjectivesub·goal, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for goal

British Dictionary definitions for goal

goal
/ (ɡəʊl) /

noun

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
sport
  1. a successful attempt at scoring
  2. the score so made
(in soccer, hockey, etc) the position of goalkeeper

Derived forms of goal

goalless, adjective

Word Origin for goal

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
See Today's Synonym