Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

goal - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable]     goal pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    something that you hope to achieve

    Our goal is to provide a good standard of medical care.

    goal of:

    the company’s goal of employing as many women as men within five years

    set/establish a goal:

    You should set goals for yourself at the beginning of each school year.

    achieve/reach/attain a goal:

    I haven’t yet reached my goal of losing 20 pounds.

  2. 2
    an area or structure that a ball must go into or through to score points in some sports
    1. a.
      the action of putting a ball into a goal
      score a goal:

      Paul scored three goals in the game.

      winning goal:

      Let’s take another look at Italy’s fantastic winning goal.

    2. b.
      the point or points that you score by putting a ball into a goal

      At half time, our team was losing three goals to one.


deep learning

a form of machine learning which incorporates the use of neural networks

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

snap election

a general election … that is called earlier than expected

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play