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[tahr-git] /ˈtɑr gɪt/
an object, usually marked with concentric circles, to be aimed at in shooting practice or contests.
any object used for this purpose.
anything fired at.
a goal to be reached.
an object of abuse, scorn, derision, etc.; butt.
Fencing. the portion of a fencer's body where a touch can be scored.
a disk-shaped signal, as at a railroad switch, indicating the position of a switch.
  1. the sliding sight on a leveling rod.
  2. any marker on which sights are taken.
a small shield, usually round, carried by a foot soldier; buckler.
that is or may be a target or goal:
The target group consisted of college graduates who earned more than $50,000 a year.
verb (used with object)
to use, set up, or designate as a target or goal.
to direct toward a target:
The new warheads can be targeted with great precision.
to make a target of (an object, person, city, etc.) for attack or bombardment.
Verb phrases
target (in) on, to establish or use as a target or goal:
The club is targeting on September for the move to larger quarters.
on target,
  1. properly aimed or on the right course toward a target.
  2. accurate, correct, or valid:
    Their description of the event was on target.
  3. filling or meeting a requirement or expectations:
    The amount of supplies we took was right on target.
1350-1400; Middle English (noun) < Middle French targuete, variant of targete small shield. See targe, -et
Related forms
targetable, adjective
targetless, adjective
untargetable, adjective
untargeted, adjective
4. aim, end, purpose. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for targets
  • The pamphlet targets reformers who regard people as commodities.
  • For moving targets, the point of aim is in front of the target.
  • Often in situations with multiple targets, snipers must use a special kind of tactic.
  • The side blade is more suited to the softer targets such as the knee and neck.
  • Many types of targets and features have been developed over the years.
  • Rollovers these are targets activated when a ball rolls over them.
  • As said before, the lateral pallidum has purely intrinsic basal ganglia targets.
  • The areas surrounding city has also been frequent targets of razing.
  • The maximum range was over , but effective combat range for many targets was far shorter.
  • There are five circular targets to be hit in each shooting round.
British Dictionary definitions for targets


  1. an object or area at which an archer or marksman aims, usually a round flat surface marked with concentric rings
  2. (as modifier): target practice
  1. any point or area aimed at; the object of an attack or a takeover bid
  2. (as modifier): target area, target company
a fixed goal or objective: the target for the appeal is £10 000
a person or thing at which an action or remark is directed or the object of a person's feelings: a target for the teacher's sarcasm
a joint of lamb consisting of the breast and neck
(surveying) a marker on which sights are taken, such as the sliding marker on a levelling staff
(formerly) a small round shield
(physics, electronics)
  1. a substance, object, or system subjected to bombardment by electrons or other particles, or to irradiation
  2. an electrode in a television camera tube whose surface, on which image information is stored, is scanned by the electron beam
(electronics) an object to be detected by the reflection of a radar or sonar signal, etc
on target, on the correct course to meet a target or objective
verb (transitive) -gets, -geting, -geted
to make a target of
to direct or aim: to target benefits at those most in need
Derived Forms
targetless, adjective
Word Origin
C14: from Old French targette a little shield, from Old French targe
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for targets



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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targets in Medicine

target tar·get (tär'gĭt)

  1. One to be influenced or changed by an action or event.

  2. A desired goal.

  3. A usually metal part in an x-ray tube on which a beam of electrons is focused and from which x-rays are emitted.

  4. A target organ.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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targets in the Bible

(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").

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Idioms and Phrases with targets
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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