English translation unavailable for .


US /ɡoʊl/ 
UK /ɡəʊl/ 

Oxford Essential Dictionary



1 the place where the ball must go to win a point in a game like football:
He kicked the ball into the goal.

2 a point that a team wins in a game like football when the ball goes into the goal:
Liverpool won by three goals to two.

3 something that you want to do very much:
She has finally achieved her goal of taking part in the Olympics.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English

goal S2 W1 AC / ɡəʊl $ ɡoʊl / noun [ countable ]

1 something that you hope to achieve in the future SYN aim :

Your goal as a parent is to help your child become an independent adult.


In everyday British English, people often talk about what someone is aiming to do rather than talk about someone’s goal :

His goal is to set up his own business. ➔ He’s aiming to set up his own business. 2 the area between two posts where the ball must go in order to score in games such as football or hockey

be in goal/keep goal British English (= be the goalkeeper )

3 the action of making the ball go into a goal, or the score gained by doing this :

I scored the first goal .



sb’s main/primary goal My main goal was to get the team to the finals. | The primary goal of the 1917 Revolution was to seize and redistribute the wealth of the Russian empire.

sb’s ultimate goal (= what they eventually and most importantly hope to achieve ) The ultimate goal is a freer, more democratic society.

an immediate goal (= that you need to achieve very soon ) Our immediate goal is to cut costs.

a long-term goal (= that you hope to achieve after a long time ) The organization’s long-term goal is to gain a strong position in the European market.

a short-term goal (= that you hope to achieve after a short time ) Companies should not focus only on the short-term goal of profitability.

sb’s personal goal They had to sacrifice personal goals for their family life.

a common goal (= an aim shared by more than one person or organization ) Iran and Turkey shared common goals in their handling of the refugee crisis.

a realistic/achievable goal Students are encouraged to set themselves realistic goals for academic improvement. | We pushed for what we thought were achievable goals

an ambitious goal (= an aim that will be difficult to achieve ) The agreement set ambitious goals to cut greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.

a modest goal (= an aim that is not too difficult to achieve ) Don’t try to lose a lot of weight quickly; set yourself a more modest goal.


have a goal She had one goal in life: to accumulate a huge fortune.

work towards a goal We are all working towards similar goals.

pursue a goal Have we gone too far in pursuing the goal of national security?

achieve/attain/reach your goal She has worked hard to achieve her goal of a job in the medical profession. | They’re hoping to reach their goal of raising £10,000 for charity.

set (yourself/somebody) a goal (= decide what you or someone else should try to achieve ) It helps if you set yourself clear goals.



score a goal Robbie Keane scored a goal just before halftime.

get a goal It was great that he got that goal so late in the game.

head a goal (= score a goal by hitting the ball with your head ) Peter Crouch headed England’s equalizing goal.

make a goal (= help another player to score a goal ) Rooney made the goal with a superb pass to Saha.

concede a goal (= let the other team score a goal ) Arsenal conceded a goal in the final minute of extra time.

let in a goal (= let the other team score a goal ) Chelsea let in a goal in the 63rd minute.

disallow a goal (= not allow a goal to be counted because a rule has been broken ) The goal was disallowed for offside.


the winning goal Berbatov scored the winning goal from just outside the box.

an own goal (= when a player accidentally puts the ball into his/her own net ) Dixon scored an unfortunate own goal against West Ham.

a last-minute goal A last-minute goal condemned Fulham to a 0–1 home defeat.

an equalizing goal British English (= a goal that gives you the same number of points as your opponent ) A loud cheer went up as he scored the equalizing goal.

Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



goal AW [goal goals]   [ɡəʊl]    [ɡoʊl]  noun

1. (in sports) a frame with a net into which players must kick or hit the ball in order to score a point
• He headed the ball into an open goal (= one that had nobody defending it).

• Who is in goal (= is the goalkeeper ) for Arsenal?

2. the act of kicking or hitting the ball into the goal; a point that is scored for this
• The winning goal was scored by Hill.
• Liverpool won by three goals to one.
• United conceded two goals in the first half.
• a penalty goal

see also  drop goal, golden goal, own goal

3. something that you hope to achieve
Syn:  aim
• to work towards a goal
• to achieve/attain a goal
• You need to set yourself some long-term goals.
• Our ultimate goal must be the preservation of the environment.
• Their goal was to eradicate malaria.  
Word Origin:
Middle English (in the sense ‘limit, boundary’): of unknown origin.  
goal noun C
• He pursued his goal of becoming a photographer.
objective • • target • • aim • • object • • purpose • • plan • |formal end
goals/objectives/targets/aims/plans for sth
work towards a/an goal/objective/target/aim
the main/primary/prime/principal goal/objective/target/aim/object/purpose
Goal, objective or target? Goals usually relate to a person or organization's long-term plans. Targets are usually specific figures, such as a number of sales, that are set officially, for example by an employer or a government committee. People often set their own objectives that they wish to achieve, for example as part of a project, campaign or piece of writing.  
objective • goal • object • end
These are all words for sth that you are trying to achieve.
target • a result that you try to achieve: Set yourself targets that you can reasonably hope to achieve. ◊ attainment targets in schools
objective • (rather formal) something that you are trying to achieve: What is the main objective of this project?
goal • something that you hope to achieve: He continued to pursue his goal of becoming an actor.
target, objective or goal?
A target is usually officially recorded in some way, for example by an employer or by a government committee. It is often specific, and in the form of figures, such as number of sales or exam passes, or a date. People often set their own objectives: these are things that they wish to achieve, often as part of a project or a talk they are giving. Goals are often long-term, and relate to people's life and career plans or the long-term plans of a company or organization.
object • the purpose of sth; sth that you plan to achieve: The object is to educate people about road safety.
end • something that you plan to achieve: He joined the society for political ends. ◊ That's only OK if you believe that the end justifies the means (= bad methods of doing sth are acceptable if the final result is good) .
End is usually used in the plural or in particular fixed expressions.
to work towards a(n) target/objective/goal
an ambitious/major/long-term/short-term/future target/objective/goal
economic/financial/business targets/objectives/goals
to set/agree on/identify/reach/meet/exceed a(n) target/objective/goal
to achieve a(n) target/objective/goal/end 
Example Bank:
• Bahr made his fifth field goal of the day.
• He kicked the ball into an open goal.
• It is important to have explicit goals.
• Our immediate goal is to earn enough money to keep the business going.
• The equalizing goal came from Cole.
• The fans were annoyed that the team gave away such a soft goal.
• The goalkeeper was injured so a defender had to go in goal.
• The prison service pursues the twin goals of the punishment and rehabilitation of offenders.
• The referee disallowed the goal.
• The second goal came from a penalty.
• They have set themselves some ambitious goals.
• They scored three goals against the home team.
• Two field goals gave the Tigers an early lead.
• Vega scored an unfortunate own goal when he slipped as he tried to clear the ball.
• Visconti scored one goal himself and made two for Lupo.
• We are all working towards a common goal.
• Who's in goal for Arsenal?
• his first goal for Spain
• their goal of providing free university education for everyone
• He continued to pursue his goal of becoming a photographer.

• The company has set itself some long-term organizational goals.

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary - 4th Edition

goal / ɡəʊl /   / ɡoʊl / noun [ C ] (SPORT)

A2 an area on a playing field, that usually has two posts with a net fixed behind them, where players try to send the ball in order to score in sports such as football and hockey:

Black kicked/headed the ball into/towards the goal.

A2 a point scored in some sports, such as football or hockey, when a player gets the ball into this area:

Brazil won by three goals to one.

Only one goal was scored in the entire match.

be/play in goal UK to be the player who tries to prevent the other team from scoring goals:

Who is playing in goal for Milan this evening?


goal / ɡəʊl /   / ɡoʊl / noun [ C ] (AIM)

B1 an aim or purpose:

Our goal is for the country to be fully independent within two years.

They have set themselves a series of goals to achieve by the end of the month.

Do you think I'll be able to achieve my goal of los ing five kilos before the summer?

© Cambridge University Press 2013

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary


 1) N-COUNT In games such as soccer, netball or hockey, the goal is the space into which the players try to get the ball in order to score a point for their team.
  The Spaniards put all their strokes past Mason in the England goal to emerge 5-4 winners.
 2) N-COUNT In games such as soccer or hockey, a goal is when a player gets the ball into the goal, or the point that is scored by doing this.
  They scored five goals in the first half of the match...
  The scorer of the winning goal.
 3) N-COUNT Something that is your goal is something that you hope to achieve, especially when much time and effort will be needed.
  It's a matter of setting your own goals and following them...
  The goal is to raise as much money as possible.

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Merriam-Webster's Advanced Learner's Dictionary: 



goal /ˈgoʊl/ noun, pl goals [count]
1 : something that you are trying to do or achieve
• He set a goal for himself of exercising at least three times a week.
• Her primary/long-term goal is to get a college degree.
• We all share/have a common goal.
• She pursued her goal of starting her own business.
• The company has instituted several new policies with the goal of reducing waste.
• achieve/accomplish/reach/realize a goal
2 a : an area or object into which a ball or puck must be hit, kicked, etc., to score points in various games (such as soccer and hockey)
✦If you are the player who guards the goal in a sport like hockey or soccer, your position is in goal.
• He has played brilliantly in goal so far this year.
✦In U.S. English, a shot or kick that is on goal is directed at the goal.
• They had a dozen shots on goal in the second period.
b : the act of hitting, kicking, etc., a ball or puck into a goal or the score that results from doing this
• Last month he had 10 goals and six assists.
• She scored the winning goal in the game's final minute.
• The team was ahead by a goal [=was ahead by one] when the third period started.
- see also field goal
- goal·less /ˈgoʊlləs/ adj
• After playing the first half, both teams were still goalless. [=neither team had scored a goal]



  1. What's your main goal in life?
  2. What are your short term goals? What are your long term goals?
  3. Do you ever write down your goals? Why? Why not? How often do you update them?
  4. Do you have any goals which might sound unrealistic to others?
  5. Who do you think you can get help from to set your goals?
  6. Do men and women have different goals?
  7. Do you think setting goals can help you stay motivated?
  8. Have you ever given up on a goal? Why? How did you feel?


  1. What is the age of retirement in your country? Is it different for men and women?
  2. Have you ever thought of this stage of your life? What are some of your thoughts?
  3. Have you planned for your retirement or will you ever plan for it?
  4. Do you think people have to get retired at a certain age or according to their ability?
  5. What are your goals before you retire?
  6. Do you think retired people miss their jobs? How about you, will you?
  7. What are some difficulties that retired people have?
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