Definition of goal in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡōl/


1(In football, soccer, rugby, hockey, and some other games) a pair of posts linked by a crossbar and often with a net attached behind it, forming a space into or over which the ball has to be sent in order to score.
Example sentences
  • Mr Foxley said there were still some problems with organising the event including installing a set of rugby or American Football posts instead of the football goals.
  • The most evident of these is the newly designed entrance, whose metal frame resembles a football goal.
  • Shots are made at soccer-style goals rather than a basket and there are seven players in each team.
1.1An instance of sending the ball into or over the goal, especially as a unit of scoring in a game: the decisive opening goal we won by three goals to two
More example sentences
  • But the good thing for the strikers is that we are so sound defensively we don't have to score five goals to win a game.
  • For the record, the Brazilian Ronaldo scored two goals in that World Cup final win two years ago.
  • They did score the opening goal of the game after ten minutes of play in the first half.
1.2A cage or basket used as a goal in other sports.
Example sentences
  • Usually, basketball is played on a rectangular court with a basketball goal at either end.
  • First question, how many goals are on a basketball court, one, two, three or four?
  • The sections of netting are connected to the vertically mounted poles or to the basketball goal.
2The object of a person’s ambition or effort; an aim or desired result: going to law school has become the most important goal in his life
More example sentences
  • You move ahead in a single-pointed manner to achieve professional goals and ambitions.
  • A slow and steady approach allows you to fulfill ambitions and achieve professional goals.
  • It inevitably acts as a barrier to achieving ambitious economic goals.
objective, aim, end, target, design, intention, intent, plan, purpose;
(holy) grail;
ambition, aspiration, wish, dream, brass ring, desire, hope
2.1The destination of a journey: the aircraft bumped toward our goal some 400 miles to the west
More example sentences
  • Sensing that the end of the cave was within our grasp we pushed on towards our goal of the East Canal.
2.2 literary A point marking the end of a race.
Example sentences
  • The competitors are allotted a start time and it is a race to the goal.


in goal

In the position of goalkeeper.
Example sentences
  • He's the best goalkeeper and has played in goal for a long time and not let us down.
  • Barthez is unchallenged in goal - no one will break into the goalkeeping slot.
  • Carrick is still sitting so deep that he might as well go in goal.


Middle English (in the sense 'limit, boundary'): of unknown origin.

Words that rhyme with goal

barcarole, bole, bowl, cajole, coal, Cole, condole, console, control, dhole, dole, droll, enrol (US enroll), extol, foal, hole, Joel, knoll, kohl, mol, mole, Nicole, parol, parole, patrol, pole, poll, prole, rôle, roll, scroll, Seoul, shoal, skoal, sole, soul, stole, stroll, thole, Tirol, toad-in-the-hole, toll, troll, vole, whole

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: goal

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