target - definition and synonyms

noun [countable] 

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  1. 1
    an object that you have to hit in a game or a sport
    on/off target (=accurate or not accurate):

    Few players managed to get their shots on target.

    1. a.
      a person, building, or area that someone intends to attack

      Foreigners have become targets for attack by terrorists.

      The house was left empty and therefore a target for vandals.

    2. b.
      something such as a person, idea, or statement that can be criticized
      target for:

      His war record became a target for his enemies.

      easy target:

      Some plans for development offered an easy target in the press.

      target of:

      The policy has become the target of severe criticism.

  2. 2
    something that you try to achieve
    set a target:

    They are setting a target of 2,000 new members.

    meet a target (=achieve it):

    Not many states will meet their targets for energy conservation.

    target level:

    They should get to their target level in about twelve months.

    on/off/below/above target:

    Oil production was 15 per cent below target.

    target date (=the date that you are hoping something will be done):

    We are setting June as a target date for completion.

    sales target (=the amount of something that you want to sell):

    The idea is helping staff to achieve their sales targets.

    1. a.
      someone that you are trying to get as a customer or audience

      the paper’s target readership

      prime target (=perfect target):

      We think teenagers are a prime target for the anti-smoking campaign.

    2. b.
      someone or something that you want to deal with or control

      Their best players are now targets for richer teams.

      The mayor was the target of eight separate tax investigations.

      They made an offer for the target company (=the one they wanted to buy).