Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


a. An object, such as a padded disk with a marked surface, that is shot at to test accuracy in rifle or archery practice.
b. Something aimed or fired at.
2. An object of criticism or verbal attack.
3. One to be influenced or changed by an action or event: Children were the target of the new advertising campaign.
4. A desired goal: achieved our target for quarterly sales.
5. A railroad signal that indicates the position of a switch by its color, position, and shape.
6. The sliding sight on a surveyor's leveling rod.
7. A small round shield.
8. A usually metal part in an x-ray tube on which a beam of electrons is focused and from which x-rays are emitted.
9. Biochemistry A molecule or molecular structure, such as a protein or a nucleic acid, that a drug or other compound interacts with and modulates the activity of.
tr.v. tar·get·ed, tar·get·ing, tar·gets
1. To aim at or identify as a target: targeted the airport hangar.
2. To identify or treat as the object of action, criticism, or change: targeted the molecule for study; targeted teenagers with the ad campaign.
3. To design for or direct toward a specific object or audience: targeted the ad campaign toward seniors.
4. Biochemistry To interact with as a target: drugs that target estrogen receptors.
on target
Completely accurate, precise, or valid: observations that were right on target.

[Middle English, small targe, from Old French targuete, variant of targete, diminutive of targe, light shield, of Germanic origin.]

tar′get·a·ble (-gĭ-tə-bəl) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Military) military the act of deciding to attack a particular point, area, or person physically
2. the act of attempting to appeal to a person or group or to influence them in some way
3. the act of directing or aiming something at a particular group of people
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


The process of selecting and prioritizing targets and matching the appropriate response to them, taking account of operational requirements and capabilities. See also joint targeting coordination board; target.
Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms. US Department of Defense 2005.
References in periodicals archive ?
Joint Forces Command, Joint Fires and Targeting Handbook, 2007, Appendix A, 1-b.
We will provide precision targeting against a wider range of targets by using networks of GMTI (ground moving target indication) radars, Battle Management Command and Control systems, and networks of SIGINT (signal intelligence) sensors, as well as EO (electro-optical) and IR (infrared) sensors.
As a new institution responsible for a new currency area, the ECB decided not to simply copy an existing strategy, such as monetary targeting or inflation targeting.
In 2002 Prima BioMed announced exciting results in mice that demonstrated the effectiveness of a tumor targeting antibody against human breast, colon and prostate cancer cell lines.
The design choices of the targeting countries have tended to converge over time with regard to the operational design questions posed in Part II, suggesting that a consensus is emerging on best practice in the operation of an inflation-targeting regime.
In addition, with the repeal of the General Utilities doctrine, the consistency rules of sections 338(e) and (f) no longer served their original purpose of targeting transactions designed to selectively step up the basis of certain assets while preserving the tax attributes of other corporations.
That's the targeting cycle that we try to keep as short as we possibly can and that's what these great youngsters are out there doing for us.
The ECB should change its inflation ceiling to 3 percent and adopt inflation targeting with a range of 1-3 percent.
MTCs are microparticles composed of metallic iron and activated carbon that serve as delivery vehicles for the site specific targeting, retention, and release of a variety of pharmaceutical agents, including small molecules, biologics and genetic vectors.
Antibody-drug conjugates combine the targeting capabilities of antibodies with cell-killing drug payloads, providing a means to selectively kill cancer cells while limiting damage to normal tissue.
Throughout this process, the FAIO's roles and responsibilities were essential to the successful link between intelligence and targeting.
While deployed to Mosul, Iraq, during Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 130th Engineer Brigade struggled to use targeting methodology.

Full browser ?