c.1400, "shield," diminutive of late Old English targe, from Old French targe "light shield," from Frankish *targa "shield" (cf. Old High German zarga "edging, border," German zarge, Old English targe, Old Norse targa "shield"), from Proto-Germanic *targo "border, edge." Meaning "object to be aimed at in shooting" first recorded 1757, originally in archery. Target audience is by 1951, early reference is to Cold War psychological warfare.
"to use as a target," 1837, from target (n.). Related: Targeted; targeting.
target tar·get (tär'gĭt)
One to be influenced or changed by an action or event.
A desired goal.
A usually metal part in an x-ray tube on which a beam of electrons is focused and from which x-rays are emitted.
A target organ.
(1 Sam. 17:6, A.V., after the LXX. and Vulg.), a kind of small shield. The margin has "gorget," a piece of armour for the throat. The Revised Version more correctly renders the Hebrew word (kidon) by "javelin." The same Hebrew word is used in Josh. 8:18 (A.V., "spear;" R.V., "javelin"); Job 39:23 (A.V., "shield;" R.V., "javelin"); 41:29 (A.V., "spear;" R.V., "javelin").