Meaning of TARGET in English

I. ˈtärgə̇t noun

( -s )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French targette, diminutive of Old French targe light shield, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German zarga frame, border, Old Norse targa shield; probably akin to Middle Irish dremm group of people, Breton dramm bundle, Armenian trc̣ak bundle of wood, and perhaps to Greek drassesthai to grasp


a. : a small circular shield or buckler

b. : such a target or its replica used as a heraldic device


a. : a butt or mark to shoot at in practice or competition or for testing the accuracy of a firearm or the force of a projectile: as

(1) : a series of concentric circles of specified size marked on a paper or wooden surface with a bull's-eye at the center

(2) : a circular mat of straw four feet in diameter covered by a canvas face painted with five concentric circles and mounted on a tripodal stand for use in archery — see prince's reckoning


(1) : a target marked or penetrated by the shots fired at it to make a score

(2) : the score made in target shooting

shot the high target for the day

(3) : clay pigeon

(4) : the section or part of a person or animal regarded as the object to be hit (as in hunting or fencing)

c. : something (as an airplane or ship, installation or area) that is or may be fired at as a military objective

directly over the target … gave the order to drop the ash cans and a floating flare to mark the point of attack — John Hersey

must be used to obtain the required results upon hostile targets — H.P.Rand

3. : something that is or may be aimed at: as

a. : a person or thing that is made the object of derogatory remarks or critical comment

the colonists … made him their chief target of scorn — Stanley Pargellis

was making herself a target for ridicule — Virginia Woolf

in some ways the textbook makes an even more satisfactory target than the teacher — V.M.Rogers

his social criticism … remains primarily moral — its principal target is human nature — C.J.Rolo

b. : a person or thing that is made the object of an action, political movement, or other development designed usually to affect or change

investors … might become a favored target for unfair action on the part of foreign governments — M.A.Heilperin

might direct such investigations to targets like corruption or inefficiency — Christopher Serpell

this area was the constant target of enemy propaganda — H.I.Poleman

the peninsula … is not an easy target for economic development — Marion Wilhelm

c. : a goal (as a date, figure, production level, or quota) set or proposed for achievement

with the target for land collection set at 50 million acres by 1957 — Vera M. Dean

the target of the air route … was 85,000 tons per month — G.C.Marshall

the week-end adjournment target was abandoned — J.D.Morris

officers whose initial target was the rapid establishment of law and order — Current History

4. : a visible signal or device used to mark or identify something: as

a. : a railroad day signal attached to a switch stand that indicates by its position, shape, color, or shape and color combined whether the switch is open or closed

b. : the vane or sliding sight on a surveyor's leveling staff

c. : an indicator to show that an electrical relay has functioned — compare drop 3f


a. : the metallic surface usually of a platinum or tungsten anode upon which the stream of cathode rays within an X-ray tube is focused

b. : a body, surface, or substance bombarded with nuclear particles

c. : the fluorescent material on which the desired patterns or pictures are produced in television, radar, and other electronic devices

6. : the standard or original object or thought that is to be recognized or affected through psychokinesis, telepathy, or clairvoyance : stimulus-object

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )


a. : to make a target of

is already targeted as the first victim — Newsweek

the fires were smothered to keep … planes from targeting the oil fields — National Geographic

b. : to set forth or determine as a goal or mark to be achieved

coal production … was targeted for 100 million tons in 1955 — Newsweek

if zooming costs had not prevented … the bargain price originally targeted — Forbes

2. : to signal (as the position of a railroad switch) by means of a target

3. : to determine by experiment the firing data necessary for aiming and firing (a firearm) accurately

traded rifles … and I targeted the thing — W.C.Tuttle

4. : to direct toward a target

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.