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target (n.)

c. 1300, "shield," diminutive of late Old English targe, from Old French targe "light shield" (12c.), from Frankish *targa "shield," from Proto-Germanic *targ- (source also of Old High German zarga "edging, border," German zarge "border, edge, frame," Old English targe, Old Norse targa "shield, buckler"), perhaps originally "edge of a shield." Meaning "round object to be aimed at in shooting" first recorded 1757, originally in archery, perhaps suggested by the concentric circles in both. Target-practice is from 1801. Target audience is by 1951; early reference is to Cold War psychological warfare.

target (v.)

"to use as a target," 1837, from target (n.). Earlier it meant "to shield" (1610s). Related: Targeted; targeting.

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Definitions of target from WordNet
1
target (n.)
a reference point to shoot at;
Synonyms: mark
target (n.)
a person who is the aim of an attack (especially a victim of ridicule or exploitation) by some hostile person or influence;
the target of a manhunt
Synonyms: prey / quarry / fair game
target (n.)
the location of the target that is to be hit;
Synonyms: target area
target (n.)
sports equipment consisting of an object set up for a marksman or archer to aim at;
Synonyms: butt
target (n.)
the goal intended to be attained (and which is believed to be attainable);
Synonyms: aim / object / objective
2
target (v.)
intend (something) to move towards a certain goal;
Synonyms: aim / place / direct / point
From wordnet.princeton.edu