General English


  • noun something which you try to achieve


  • noun the final state reached when a task has been finished or has produced satisfactory results

Information & Library Science

  • noun what somebody is trying to achieve


  • noun in a game such as football or hockey, the space or opening into which a ball or puck must go to score points, usually a pair of posts with a crossbar and often a net
  • noun the score gained by getting the ball or puck into the goal
  • noun a successful attempt at hitting, kicking, or throwing a ball or hitting a puck into a goal
  • noun in Australian Rules football, six points, scored by kicking the ball between the two goal posts

Origin & History of “goal”

The earliest examples of what can confidently be identified as the word goal come from the first half of the 16th century, when it was used for both the ‘finishing line of a race’ and the ‘posts through which the ball is sent in football’. before that we are in the realm of speculation. A 14th-century text from Kent has the word gol ‘boundary’, which could quite plausibly be the ancestor of the 16th-century goal, and gol suggest an Old English *gāl. No such word has come down to us, but the Old English verb gǣlan ‘hinder’, which looks as though it could have been related to a noun *gāl, indicates that if it existed it might have meant ‘obstacle, barrier’ (which would lead on quite logically through ‘boundary’ and ‘finishing line’ to ‘something to be aimed at’).