Main definitions of goat in English

: goat1GOAT2



  • 1A hardy domesticated ruminant mammal that has backward-curving horns and (in the male) a beard. It is kept for its milk and meat, and noted for its lively behaviour.

    • ‘Bedouin farmers keep herds of goats and sheep whose milk is used to produce cheese and yogurt.’
    • ‘She got upset when her father cut off the tails of the pigs or pulled out the horns of the goats.’
    • ‘Eighty per cent of the EU tariff quota for sheep and goats and their meat was distributed in January.’
    • ‘We find a similar adornment in Israel where a crimson thread was bound around the horns of the goat, the least valuable of the domestic animals.’
    • ‘Children can touch the animals and even have a go at milking the goats.’
    • ‘They are most prevalent in the meat of ruminant animals such as cows, sheep and goats, and dairy products including full-fat milk and yoghurt.’
    • ‘Cows produce ten times more meat than sheep or goats and beef production grew increasingly important as pig numbers decreased.’
    • ‘The cooperative is currently raising goats for meat.’
    • ‘Finds of animal bones reveal that the ox and the cow were domesticated as were sheep and goats (kept for meat and wool).’
    • ‘Besides this, Spanish cattle, pigs, sheep, and goats introduced European meats and fats, milk, butter, and cheese to the Mexican diet.’
    • ‘Many earn a living by selling sheep and goats for meat, dung for fertilizer, and wool.’
    • ‘The meat of cows, goats, sheep and pigs is food for people.’
    • ‘Cheese can be made out of milk from cows, goats, and sheep.’
    • ‘I sat at their tables enjoying fresh wonders of the Mediterranean and learned to milk goats.’
    • ‘Sheep and goats are ruminants and are genomically similar to cows.’
    • ‘An unusual hybrid has been reported by veterinarians in Botswana - the offspring of a female goat and a male sheep.’
    • ‘They eat the meat of goats, sheep, water buffalo, and cows.’
    • ‘Other firms have also tried to use milk from goats and cows to produce drugs but none have proved commercially viable.’
    • ‘The skin of male goats is used for the two side drums and the skin of a female goat for the middle one.’
    • ‘Researchers hope to use the technology to improve the pedigree of milk goats.’
    billy goat, billy, nanny goat, nanny, kid
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A wild mammal related to the goat, such as the ibex.
      See also mountain goat
      • ‘The crater walls, massive in height and rugged, were the domain of jet-black wild goats who managed to navigate and cling to the rough face.’
      • ‘Wild goats were seen picking their way down the shoulder of the Eagle's Rock; they play a vital role by browsing the hazel scrub which would swamp the natural vegetation.’
      • ‘Further investigations of wild goats and archaeological specimens are therefore needed to investigate these ancestors.’
      • ‘This course could also be game, such as pheasant, wild goat, duck or partridge.’
      • ‘The chances of a [captive] goat passing along a drug-producing gene to a wild goat aren't very high.’
      • ‘Tales were told of flood-bound trains marooned in the desert for so long that drivers fished in new-born rivers or shot wild goats in order to feed their passengers.’
      • ‘The elusive sarrios and the bucardo, a very rare type of Spanish wild goat are found here.’
      • ‘But, ironically, one of the unexpected by-products of his efforts is the availability for consumption of large populations of wild goats.’
      • ‘You may even happen upon some wild boar or goats.’
      • ‘The fauna is represented by species such as deer, wild goats, bears, wolves, foxes and martens.’
      • ‘In the forests may the deer and wild goats multiply.’
      • ‘There are still plenty of wild goats on the Kerry mountains, but a problem nowadays is in finding goat catchers to help with the capture, according to Frank.’
      • ‘Investigators of Romania's so-called Cave with Bones have also discovered skeletal remains of extinct cave bears and wild goats.’
      • ‘The snow used to cool the drink had come from distant mountain peaks where goats run wild.’
      • ‘The Korean goral is an endangered species of wild goat.’
      • ‘Wild goats are tolerant of considerable extremes of temperature and would most likely have been a source of food for most of the post-glacial period.’
      • ‘And, for the first time ever, human hands will not be allowed touch the wild goat at Puck Fair.’
      • ‘Wild goats, pigs, and dogs inhabited many of the forests, especially the mauka (upland areas inland from the coast).’
      • ‘After that all the sheep, wild goats and deer on the Cooley Peninsula would have to be destroyed.’
      • ‘Moors and heaths would have supported populations of wild horses and cattle, hares, wild goats and smaller creatures like voles, snakes and lizards.’
    2. 1.2 The zodiacal sign Capricorn or the constellation Capricornus.
  • 2A lecherous man.

    • ‘When you say that some of the girls are prostitutes and that he used to be a responsible, respected person, it is entirely possible that the old goat is having brain changes.’
    lecher, lecherous man, lascivious man, libertine, womanizer, seducer, adulterer, pervert, debauchee, rake, roué, profligate, wanton, loose-liver, sensualist, sybarite, voluptuary, don juan, casanova, lothario, romeo
    View synonyms
  • 3British informal A stupid person; a fool.

    ‘just for once, stop acting the goat’
    • ‘Acting the goat takes on a new meaning when it involves a challenging nine-and-a-half-hour scramble over the rough terrain around Glenbeigh.’
    • ‘Those involved in one of the county's most popular festivals have decided acting the goat is one way to help a good cause.’
    • ‘Unfortunately a young schoolgirl, acting the goat, injured herself causing a slight cut on her knee.’
    • ‘A group of lads in the middle of the floor were, to say the least of it, acting the goat.’
    • ‘There's no fool like an old fool, these old goats don't know how foolish they look.’
    idiot, ass, halfwit, nincompoop, blockhead, buffoon, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, imbecile, dullard, moron, simpleton, clod
    View synonyms
  • 4US A scapegoat.

    • ‘The truth is, he saw a last, desperate chance to transform himself from goat to martyr and he took it.’
    • ‘O'Neill is believable because his own story portrays him as goat, not hero.’


  • get someone's goat

    • informal Irritate someone.

      • ‘Apart from the super-slow service, what else got my goat?’
      • ‘This being the sixties, most of them felt it was a matter of free speech, which really got his goat.’
      • ‘Motorists already have very strong feelings about cyclists, not all of them favourable, and it apparently gets their goat to see cyclists jabbering away whilst pedalling, and enjoying a freedom that is now forbidden to the driver.’
      • ‘This really gets my goat, as we can't quit the e-group, and their spam isn't intercepted (as it's in the e-group, duh), and it clutters up my inbox.’
      • ‘If people don't want to vote, it probably is a sign that nothing is getting their goat enough to make them take the time to go vote.’
      • ‘I mean, I know people have gotten essentially meaner, but to realize that it permeates so deeply to the point where people are astonished - rendered speechless - at random acts of kindness just gets my goat.’
      • ‘I mean I do read them, and one of them has got my goat enough for this blog entry - does that mean they work?’
      • ‘He's one of the most famous comic types in Shakespeare, and there's something about him that tickles people's fancies and gets their goat.’
  • run like a hairy goat

    • informal Run or perform badly.

      ‘the nag ran like a hairy goat the last time out!’
      ‘to make matters worse, the car was running like a hairy goat’
      • ‘"Damn thing's running like a hairy goat. We've had it for about twenty years; I suppose it's worn out."’
      • ‘I ran like a 'hairy goat' even though I placed third.’
      • ‘There is another level of embarrassed when you are representing your country and you run like a hairy goat.’
      • ‘The nag ran like a hairy goat the last time out!’
      • ‘It ran like a hairy goat, but it would serve.’


Old English gāt ‘nanny goat’, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch geit and German Geiss, also to Latin haedus ‘kid’.




Main definitions of goat in English

: goat1GOAT2


  • (especially of a sports player) greatest of all time.

    ‘excellent defensive play from the GOAT’
    ‘no one can deny his GOAT status, but he can't win forever’
    ‘that movie was GOAT’