Is there any difference between these two: goal and purpose?


Is there any difference between these two: goal and purpose?

Here's a quick and brief comment to consider.

Geneally speaking, a goal refers to something more clear-cut, more precise.

eg My goal is to win an Olympic gold medal.

eg Mother Teresa's purpose was to spend her life helping others.

Best wishes, Clive
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It seems to me that the goal of an activity is the final state toward which effort is directed.

My goal is to collect all 50 kinds of buttons ever used by the Levi company.
Her goal was to lose 10 pounds before the wedding.
You have to set realistic goals, or you'll become discouraged by your failures.

It further seems to me that the purpose of an activity is why you do it, to the point that "For what purpose?" and "Why?" can mean the same thing.

-- For what purpose (Why) is she jogging so much lately? -- She wants to lose weight.
His purpose in fixing the roof is to keep the rain out.
This clever device was invented for the purpose of saving time in the kitchen.

The two are similar, but I think goals can be arbitrary, whereas purposes are seen from the viewpoint of attempts to reach goals.

Also, I would say that a goal is something a person is consciously aware of. An inanimate object can have a purpose, but not a goal. Protecting people from rain is the purpose of an umbrella, but not its goal.

Is there any difference between these two: goal and purpose?


Here is my explanation:

Goal is an aim to suceed, an ambition. My goal is to exceed last year's sale revenue.

A purpose is a reason, perhaps a motivation.
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thank you for all explanations

PURPOSE can apply to what one proposes with resolution and determination <the missionary was here for a purpose, and he pressed his point -- Willa Cather> <writing her excellent period stories for girls, Elizabeth Howard has a well-defined purpose in view -- Current Biography>

GOAL may indicate that which is attained by struggle and endurance of hardship <the achievement of understanding, which is man's highest goal -- Ida C. Merriam> <could not help thinking that this was my goal, that I had been brought to this spot with a purpose, that in this wild and solitary retreat some tremendous adventure was about to befall me -- W.H.Hudson died 1922>


With such questions, I'd suggest you buy Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Synonyms, or buy a subscription to the online version given in the link above.