any of numerous agile, hollow-horned ruminants of the genus Capra, of the family Bovidae, closely related to the sheep, found native in rocky and mountainous regions of the Old World, and widely distributed in domesticated varieties.
any of various related animals, as the Rocky Mountain goat.
(initial capital letter) Astronomy, Astrology. the constellation or sign Capricorn.
a scapegoat or victim.
a licentious or lecherous man; lecher.


    get one's goat, Informal. to anger, annoy, or frustrate a person: His arrogance gets my goat.

Origin of goat

before 900; Middle English got, Old English gāt; cognate with German Geiss
Related formsgoat·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for goat

buck, kid, billy

Examples from the Web for goat

Contemporary Examples of goat

Historical Examples of goat

  • About half-way to the summit, she climbed a rock as if she were a goat, and looked all round her.

    Heather and Snow

    George MacDonald

  • "He's had your goat ever since the meeting opened," grinned the Sharpshooter.

    Old Man Curry

    Charles E. (Charles Emmett) Van Loan

  • I saw him outside the "Goat and Bells" when I went to the post last night.

  • He 's too fond of the "Goat and Bells," that's what's the matter with him.

  • The goat has horns, and I expect every moment to see the baby gored.

    Things as They Are

    Amy Wilson-Carmichael

British Dictionary definitions for goat



any sure-footed agile bovid mammal of the genus Capra, naturally inhabiting rough stony ground in Europe, Asia, and N Africa, typically having a brown-grey colouring and a beard. Domesticated varieties (C. hircus) are reared for milk, meat, and woolRelated adjectives: caprine, hircine
informal a lecherous man
a bad or inferior member of any group (esp in the phrase separate the sheep from the goats)
short for scapegoat
act the goat, act the giddy goat, play the goat or play the giddy goat to fool around
get someone's goat slang to cause annoyance to someone
Derived Formsgoatlike, adjective

Word Origin for goat

Old English gāt; related to Old Norse geit, Old High German geiz, Latin haedus kid



the Goat the constellation Capricorn, the tenth sign of the zodiac
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

Word Origin and History for goat

Old English gat "she-goat," from Proto-Germanic *gaitaz (cf. Old Saxon get, Old Norse geit, Danish gjed, Middle Dutch gheet, Dutch geit, Old High German geiz, German Geiß, Gothic gaits "goat"), from PIE *ghaidos "young goat," also "play" (cf. Latin hædus "kid").

The word for "male goat" in Old English was bucca (see buck (n.)) until late 1300s shift to he-goat, she-goat (Nanny goat is 18c., billy goat 19c.). Meaning "licentious man" is attested from 1670s. To get (someone's) goat is from 1910, perhaps with notion of "to steal a goat mascot from a racehorse," or from French prendre sa chèvre "take one's source of milk."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with goat


see get someone's goat; separate the sheep from the goats.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.