The goal is the intention of an activity or a plan. In a figurative sense, a goal is the mission of a person or group. A tangible goal could be the net at one end of a soccer field. Your goal is to kick the ball into the net, and then you will have scored a goal.

Goal used to mean "the end point of a race." When you score a goal during a sporting event, the play does momentarily stop. If your goal is to win the presidency and you are in fact elected, you have achieved that goal. A goal is the reason for your efforts. People set goals in all aspects of their lives, not just in scoring points. "Her goal is to eat 40 cupcakes in one day." Go figure.

Definitions of goal

n the state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that (when achieved) terminates behavior intended to achieve it

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aim, object, objective, target
the goal intended to be attained (and which is believed to be attainable)
bourn, bourne
an archaic term for a goal or destination
the ultimate goal
destination, terminus
the ultimate goal for which something is done
a nonexistent goal
aim, design, intent, intention, purpose
an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions
(usually plural) the goal with respect to a marriage proposal
the object of any prolonged endeavor
idea, mind
your intention; what you intend to do
a contrary aim
final cause
(philosophy) the end or purpose of a thing or process
the purpose of achieving or obtaining
purpose; the phrase `with a view to' means `with the intention of' or `for the purpose of'
a fixed and persistent intent or purpose
an immediate objective
the object of an activity
a special objective
Type of:
cognitive content, content, mental object
the sum or range of what has been perceived, discovered, or learned

n game equipment consisting of the place toward which players of a game try to advance a ball or puck in order to score points

basket, basketball hoop, hoop
horizontal circular metal hoop supporting a net through which players try to throw the basketball
a goal lined with netting (as in soccer or hockey)
the net that is the goal in ice hockey
Type of:
game equipment
equipment or apparatus used in playing a game

n the place designated as the end (as of a race or journey)

destination, finish
finish line, finishing line
a line indicating the location of the finish of a race
the finishing line for a foot race
the finishing line on a racetrack
Type of:
end, terminal
either extremity of something that has length

n a successful attempt at scoring

“the winning goal came with less than a minute left to play”
own goal
(soccer) a goal that results when a player inadvertently knocks the ball into the goal he is defending
Type of:
the act of scoring in a game or sport

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