Meaning of TARGET in English

/ ˈtɑːgɪt; NAmE ˈtɑːrgɪt/ noun , verb

■ noun


a result that you try to achieve :

business goals and targets

attainment targets

Set yourself targets that you can reasonably hope to achieve.

to meet / achieve a target

a target date of April 2006

The university will reach its target of 5 000 students next September.

The new sports complex is on target to open in June.

a target area / audience / group (= the particular area, audience, etc. that a product, programme, etc. is aimed at)


target (for sb/sth) | target (of sth) an object, a person or a place that people aim at when attacking :

They bombed military and civilian targets.

Doors and windows are an easy target for burglars.

It's a prime target (= an obvious target) for terrorist attacks.

( figurative )

He's become the target for a lot of criticism recently.


an object that people practise shooting at, especially a round board with circles on it :

to aim at a target

to hit / miss the target

target practice

■ verb ( tar·get·ing , tar·get·ed , tar·get·ed ) [ vn ] [ usually passive ]


to aim an attack or a criticism at sb/sth :

The missiles were mainly targeted at the United States.

The company has been targeted by animal rights groups for its use of dogs in drugs trials.


to try to have an effect on a particular group of people :

The campaign is clearly targeted at the young.

a new magazine that targets single men




objective ♦ goal ♦ object ♦ end

These are all words for sth that you are trying to achieve.


a result that you try to achieve:

Set yourself targets that you can reasonably hope to achieve.

attainment targets in schools


( rather formal ) something that you are trying to achieve:

What is the main objective of this project?


something that you hope to achieve:

He continued to pursue his goal of becoming an actor.

target, objective or goal?

A target is usually officially recorded in some way, for example by an employer or by a government committee. It is often specific, and in the form of figures, such as number of sales or examination passes, or a date. People often set their own objectives : these are things that they wish to achieve, often as part of a project or a talk they are giving. Goals are often long-term, and relate to people's life and career plans or the long-term plans of a company or organization.


the purpose of sth; sth that you plan to achieve:

The object is to educate people about road safety.


something that you plan to achieve:

He joined the society for political ends.

That's only OK if you believe that the end justifies the means (= bad methods of doing sth are acceptable if the final result is good) .


End usually occurs in the plural or in particular fixed expressions.


to work towards a(n) target / objective / goal

a(n) impossible / ambitious / difficult / tough / unrealistic target / objective / goal

economic / financial / business / sales targets / objectives / goals

to set / reach / succeed in / meet / exceed / fall short of / agree / identify a(n) target / objective / goal

to achieve a(n) target / objective / goal / end

attainment / recruitment targets



late Middle English (originally referring to a small round shield): diminutive of targe Old English , of Germanic origin. The noun came to denote various round objects. The verb dates from the early 17th cent.

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.