[ tahr-git ]
See synonyms for: targettargetedtargetingtargets on

  1. an object, usually marked with concentric circles, to be aimed at in shooting practice or contests.

  2. any object used for this purpose.

  1. anything fired at.

  2. a goal to be reached.

  3. an object of abuse, scorn, derision, etc.; butt.

  4. Fencing. the portion of a fencer's body where a touch can be scored.

  5. a disk-shaped signal, as at a railroad switch, indicating the position of a switch.

  6. Surveying.

    • the sliding sight on a leveling rod.

    • any marker on which sights are taken.

  7. a small shield, usually round, carried by a foot soldier; buckler.

  1. that is or may be a target or goal: The target group consisted of college graduates who earned more than $50,000 a year.

verb (used with object)
  1. to use, set up, or designate as a target or goal.

  2. to direct toward a target: The new warheads can be targeted with great precision.

  1. to make a target of (an object, person, city, etc.) for attack or bombardment.

Verb Phrases
  1. target (in) on, to establish or use as a target or goal: The club is targeting on September for the move to larger quarters.

Idioms about target

  1. on target,

    • properly aimed or on the right course toward a target.

    • accurate, correct, or valid: Their description of the event was on target.

    • filling or meeting a requirement or expectations: The amount of supplies we took was right on target.

Origin of target

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English noun, from Middle French targuete, variant of targete “small shield” see targe, -et

Other words for target

Other words from target

  • tar·get·a·ble, adjective
  • tar·get·less, adjective
  • un·tar·get·a·ble, adjective
  • un·tar·get·ed, adjective

Words Nearby target Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use target in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for target


/ (ˈtɑːɡɪt) /

    • an object or area at which an archer or marksman aims, usually a round flat surface marked with concentric rings

    • (as modifier): target practice

    • any point or area aimed at; the object of an attack or a takeover bid

    • (as modifier): target area; target company

  1. a fixed goal or objective: the target for the appeal is £10 000

  2. a person or thing at which an action or remark is directed or the object of a person's feelings: a target for the teacher's sarcasm

  3. a joint of lamb consisting of the breast and neck

  4. surveying a marker on which sights are taken, such as the sliding marker on a levelling staff

  5. (formerly) a small round shield

  6. physics electronics

    • a substance, object, or system subjected to bombardment by electrons or other particles, or to irradiation

    • an electrode in a television camera tube whose surface, on which image information is stored, is scanned by the electron beam

  7. electronics an object to be detected by the reflection of a radar or sonar signal, etc

  8. on target on the correct course to meet a target or objective

verb-gets, -geting or -geted (tr)
  1. to make a target of

  2. to direct or aim: to target benefits at those most in need

Origin of target

C14: from Old French targette a little shield, from Old French targe

Derived forms of target

  • targetless, adjective

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with target


see on target; sitting duck (target).

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