Definition of goal in English:



  • 1(in soccer, rugby, hockey, and some other games) a pair of posts linked by a crossbar and typically with a net between, forming a space into or over which the ball has to be sent in order to score.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Uri also donated ‘special’ crystals for the supporters' club to place behind one of the goals.’
    • ‘It really is quite bad, we go down to the Village Hall green to play football but we want to get a hard surface area built there with a couple of goals and basketball hoops.’
    • ‘Handling the puck with both intricacy and ease, you race towards the opposing goal.’
    • ‘Shots are made at soccer-style goals rather than a basket and there are seven players in each team.’
    • ‘The most evident of these is the newly designed entrance, whose metal frame resembles a football goal.’
    • ‘Another evening Allen and Morgan sat down to watch a rare video of one Munster final, shot from behind the goals Morgan was guarding.’
    • ‘From the time that I was tall enough to peer over the low, white-painted wall behind the goals, I would attend Easter Road: week in, week out.’
    • ‘Some England fans behind one of the goals could be seen trying to tear down metal fences separating them from Slovakian supporters.’
    • ‘The yawning gap behind one of the goals is a legacy of the proposal to build a fourth stand to meet Premierleague criteria last season.’
    • ‘Last week a story in The Nationalist highlighted an area behind one of the goals which had been torn up by the quads.’
    • ‘And if players are to be protected, then nets behind the goals have to be considered, however bad it might look to PR-conscious sponsors or directors.’
    • ‘The number of times he raced from his goal to narrow an attacker's shot was exceptional.’
    1. 1.1 An 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’
      • ‘The Wigan game was always going to be a tight one and as it turned out the one goal that won the game came by virtue of a disputed penalty.’
      • ‘The attacker has just scored a goal for his team that wins them the FA Cup in the final minutes of the game.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In an uncanny coincidence, on the night of its premiere Ferguson scored the only goal of the game in Everton's win over Manchester United.’
      • ‘We have great goaltending - the best in the league - but if you only score one or two goals a game you are not going to win.’
      • ‘Not many recent World Cup finals include dramatic comebacks and winning goals in the waning minutes.’
      • ‘They did score the opening goal of the game after ten minutes of play in the first half.’
      • ‘I scored two goals in the opening five minutes of my first game against them and went on to get a hat-trick in a 3-2 win.’
      • ‘They've got players all over the pitch who can score goals but who have also got a real will to win.’
      • ‘‘At the moment it looks as if we have to score three goals to win a game,’ he admits.’
      • ‘Germany scored two goals over the course of three games and did not win one of them.’
      • ‘So, it's two games, two goals and two wins in the Premiership under the new regime at Chelsea.’
      • ‘On eight minutes John Smithers flicked the ball on for David Dowling, to score the opening goal.’
      • ‘It is all very well doing a lot of good things around the box but goals win games.’
      • ‘He's been described as a hard-nosed guy who skates well, wins face-offs, scores goals and finishes his checks.’
      • ‘If I'm not mistaken, the hapless home side need to score five goals without reply to win.’
      • ‘But isn't that a lot like saying the team that scores the most points or runs or goals wins the game?’
      • ‘The premise is to score more goals than you concede producing tons of wins and few draws.’
      • ‘For the record, the Brazilian Ronaldo scored two goals in that World Cup final win two years ago.’
      • ‘I don't care who scores the goals, I want to see Albion winning games, week after week.’
    2. 1.2 A cage or basket used as a goal in other sports.
      • ‘A lopsided basketball goal was a good ten yards away from the person who Lazarus recognized as Sam.’
      • ‘The sections of netting are connected to the vertically mounted poles or to the basketball goal.’
      • ‘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?’
  • 2The object of a person's ambition or effort; an aim or desired result.

    ‘he achieved his goal of becoming King of England’
    • ‘The desired goal can be achieved speedily and surely only if a decentralised approach to implementation is adopted.’
    • ‘Some of the promised outreach efforts actually achieve their goals; those should be appreciated.’
    • ‘I'm ambitious, I have goals and big plans, but at the same time, I know this is my first album.’
    • ‘They are known for getting what they desire and achieving their goals.’
    • ‘It may be that, among girls, a desire to achieve academic goals countervails motivations to use drugs.’
    • ‘A slow and steady approach allows you to fulfill ambitions and achieve professional goals.’
    • ‘Our bid for the speaker's position, although it failed, was part of our effort to achieve this goal.’
    • ‘You move ahead in a single-pointed manner to achieve professional goals and ambitions.’
    • ‘Using visualisation to achieve specific goals can bring amazing results.’
    • ‘Yet the total lifestyle upheaval needed to achieve such an ambitious goal is as realistic for most homeowners as flying pigs.’
    • ‘When there is a definite goal, effort to achieve it becomes fun or enjoyment.’
    • ‘I have the distinct advantage of following someone who set lofty and ambitious goals and achieved them.’
    • ‘As Africa attempts to achieve ambitious millennium development goals, many critical challenges confront healthcare systems.’
    • ‘He put huge physical and mental effort into achieving this goal, chasing his dream from his native Austria to London and on to California.’
    • ‘We have received assistance in our efforts to achieve these goals from many sources.’
    • ‘I hope the committee achieves it goal and the effort is carried out by successive governments.’
    • ‘It inevitably acts as a barrier to achieving ambitious economic goals.’
    • ‘To fulfill a desire is really the reason people live; we go about our days in the hopes that we can achieve a particular goal.’
    • ‘Most probably, I think, it would be good for each and every person to cherish a desire to achieve his goal in life.’
    • ‘You have all the ability you need to achieve the goals you desire.’
    aim, objective, object, grail, holy grail, end, target, design, desire, desired result, intention, intent, plan, purpose, idea, point, object of the exercise
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    1. 2.1 The destination of a journey.
      ‘the aircraft bumped towards our goal some 400 miles to the west’
      • ‘Sensing that the end of the cave was within our grasp we pushed on towards our goal of the East Canal.’
      journey's end, end of the line, landing place, point of disembarkation
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    2. 2.2literary A point marking the end of a race.
      • ‘The competitors are allotted a start time and it is a race to the goal.’


  • in goal

    • In the position of goalkeeper.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My brother and I always used to go out and play against each other, we used to take turns to take shots and go in goal.’
      • ‘The idea is to have one person in goal and the rest of the people play on their own (or doubles as the case may be).’
      • ‘He is currently travelling around Australia, trying to persuade people to let him have a go in goal.’
      • ‘If he only could, McClaren would surely look for more options in goal as well.’
      • ‘Eventually I said let me do one or the other so they said go in goal.’
      • ‘He's the best goalkeeper and has played in goal for a long time and not let us down.’
      • ‘I enjoy going in goal during training sessions but on a serious note we got the three points and that's the main thing.’
      • ‘I stood in goal, agony and all, and proceeded to save a free kick with my face.’


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