[ gohl-ten-der ]
/ ˈgoʊlˌtɛn dər /
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Origin of goaltender

First recorded in 1905–10; goal + tender3
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does goaltender mean?

In sports like hockey, goaltender is another name for the goalkeeper, 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).

Goaltender can be used to refer to the position or the player. A goaltender might say they play goaltender. A common informal word for goaltender is goalie. The word goaltender is commonly used in ice hockey and lacrosse. In soccer (football), this position is usually called goalkeeper, goalie, or keeper.

The word goaltending can refer to acting as a goaltender, but it is also used in a more specific way in basketball (which does not have a goaltender or goalkeeper position). In basketball, goaltending refers to a rules violation in which a player interferes with a shot by touching the ball on its downward flight to the basket or while it is over, on, or within the rim of the basket.

Example: When I played hockey, I was the goaltender, and I was pretty good, especially because I was quick.

Where does goaltender come from?

The first records of the word goaltender come from the late 1800s. The word tender means “someone who tends to or takes care of something” and is used in a similar way in the word bartender.

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 or goaltender. In these sports, players are typically not allowed to touch the ball or puck with their hands, with the exception of the goaltender (under certain circumstances). Goaltenders 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, goaltenders in ice hockey, field hockey, and lacrosse usually wear a mask and other padded equipment.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to goaltender?

What are some synonyms for goaltender?

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

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

How is goaltender used in real life?

Goaltenders are very commonly called goalies. The term goaltender is especially used in ice hockey.



Try using goaltender!

Is goaltender used correctly in the following sentence?

Our team needs a goaltender—can you play?

How to use goaltender in a sentence