target Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “target” in the English Dictionary

"target" in British English

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targetnoun

uk   /ˈtɑː.ɡɪt/  us   /ˈtɑːr-/
  • target noun (OBJECT SHOT AT)

B2 [C] an ​objectshot at during ​shootingpractice, often a ​circle with a ​pattern of ​rings, or any ​object or ​place at which ​bullets, ​bombs, etc. are ​aimed: I had four ​shots but I didn't ​even hit the target. Any ​majorairport or ​station is ​potentially a terrorist target.

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  • target noun (PERSON/GROUP)

C2 [C usually singular] a ​person or a ​particulargroup of ​people that something is ​directed at, or that something is ​intended for: The target ​audience for the TV ​series is ​youngpeopleaged 13 to 18.C1 [C usually singular] one or more ​people who are ​criticized or ​laughed at, or who ​experienceunpleasanttreatment from ​others: Recently she has been the target of a ​series of ​obscenephonecalls.

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  • target noun (AIM)

B2 [C] a ​level or ​situation that you ​intend to ​achieve: The government's target of 3.5 ​percentannualgrowthseemseasilyattainable.

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Idioms

targetverb [T]

uk   /ˈtɑː.ɡɪt/  us   /ˈtɑːr-/
  • target verb [T] (DIRECT)

C2 to ​directadvertising, ​criticism, or a ​product at someone: The ​advert for the ​energydrink is targeted ​specifically atyoungpeople.

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  • target verb [T] (ATTACK)

to ​aim an ​attack, or a ​bullet, ​bomb, etc., at a ​particularobject, ​place, or ​person: It is ​hoped that ​civilians will not be targeted during the ​war.
(Definition of target from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"target" in American English

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targetnoun [C]

 us   /ˈtɑr·ɡɪt/
  • target noun [C] (OBJECT AIMED AT)

an ​objectaimed and ​fired at during ​shootingpractice, often a ​circle with a ​pattern of ​rings, or any ​object or ​place at which ​arrows, ​bullets, ​bombs, and other ​missiles are ​aimed: I ​missed the target. The ​planepassed over the target. A target is also a ​person or ​groupattacked in some way: The ​president was the ​main target of the senator’s ​speech.
  • target noun [C] (INTENDED RESULT)

a ​result or ​situation that you ​intend to ​achieve: We ​metoursales target for the ​year. Your calculations were on target (= ​accurate).

targetverb [T]

 us   /ˈtɑr·ɡɪt/
  • target verb [T] (AIM)

to ​direct an ​action, ​advertising, or a ​product at a ​particularperson or ​group: The ​paper is targeted at ​youngpeople.
  • target verb [T] (AIM ATTACK)

to ​direct an ​attack or ​criticism against someone or something: The ​candidate targeted his opponent's ​comments on the ​policy.
(Definition of target from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"target" in Business English

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targetnoun [C]

uk   us   /ˈtɑːɡɪt/
MANAGEMENT, FINANCE, ECONOMICS, GOVERNMENT a ​result, ​level, or ​situation that an ​organization or ​groupwants or ​plans to ​achieve: The ​company gave ​employees the details of performance targets for ​bonuses. economic/​financial targets emissions/​production/​sales targets earnings/​inflation/​budget targetshit/meet/reach a target The French ​economy is on ​track to ​meet its growth targets. lower/​raise/​reduce a targetexceed/miss/set a target The ​company has set a target of 10 million ​wholesalebroadbandconnections by 2014.a target date/level/price They ​plan to ​finish the ​manufacturingprocess by the new target ​date of October 31st.
MARKETING, POLITICS a ​person, ​place, etc. that an ​action is ​directed at or intended for: a/the target for sb/sth The abundance of ​resources makes these ​areas aprime target for ​development. Savers have ​replaced borrowers as the ​priority target forbanks and ​buildingsocieties.a/the target of sth Their ​chiefexecutiveofficer is the target of an ​investigation into ​fraud.
(also target company) FINANCE a ​company that another ​companywants to ​buy: an acquisition/bid/buyout target Their ​plan is to be a ​buyer rather than a ​buyout target. The City has ​tipped the ​group as a ​takeover target.
(also target price) FINANCE, MARKETING the ​price at which someone ​wants to ​buy or ​sell something: Prices have remained below the $21 target because ​demandgrowth has been ​slow. The ​investmenthouse has a 1,125p target ​price on the ​shares.
an easy target (for sb/sth) someone or something that is ​easy to attack or criticize, often because they cannot ​defend themselves: Advertisers view themselves as an ​easy target for ​regulators. Big ​oilcompanies make ​easy targets for politicians anxious to take the ​heat off their own ​taxationpolicies.
on target if you are on target with a ​project, etc., you are likely to ​achieve what you ​planned at the ​time you intended: The company's ​ambitiousgrowthplans are on target.on target to do sth We are on target to ​meet our ​salesgoals for the coming ​year.

targetverb [T]

uk   us   /ˈtɑːɡɪt/
MARKETING, POLITICS to ​direct something, especially ​advertising or a ​product, at a particular ​group of ​people or a particular ​area: aggressively/carefully/specifically target sb/sth The ​marketingcampaign is specifically targeting a different ​type of ​customer.target sth at sb/sth We need ​governmentrestrictions on ​ads targeted at children.target sth to sb/sth They ​plan to target the ​taxcut to the middle ​classes.
MANAGEMENT, FINANCE to choose someone or something for a particular ​type of ​treatment: target sb/sth for sth They have targeted the ​failingretailinggroup for ​takeover.target sb/sth as sth Certain ​areas of ​manufacturing have been targeted as ​priorities.
See also
(Definition of target from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“target” in Business English

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