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pro·​jec·​tile prə-ˈjek-tᵊl How to pronounce projectile (audio) -ˌtī(-ə)l How to pronounce projectile (audio)
 chiefly British  ˈprä-jik-ˌtī(-ə)l
: a body projected by external force and continuing in motion by its own inertia
especially : a missile for a weapon (such as a firearm)
: a self-propelling weapon (such as a rocket)


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: projecting or impelling forward
a projectile force
: capable of being thrust forward

Examples of projectile in a Sentence

Noun The cannon fires a ten-pound projectile. Someone threw a projectile at her car.
Recent Examples on the Web
The wireless charging pad is tucked under the dash to keep your smartphone from becoming a projectile. Jack Fitzgerald, Car and Driver, 8 Sep. 2023 This is designed to stop traditional armor piercing, dart-like ammunition, and to dissipate the molten jet generated by a high-explosive, anti-tank projectile. Sébastien Roblin, Popular Mechanics, 6 Sep. 2023 Practically anything can become a projectile missile when it's picked up and thrown about by 100 mph winds. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, 30 Aug. 2023 The recent rain of projectiles — ship-to-shore missiles, drones and cruise missiles — galvanized rage against the Russian invaders. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 17 Aug. 2023 As musicians seemingly everywhere face a ceaseless deluge of projectiles whipped from the crowd, Kelly Clarkson is laying down some ground rules: Anyone thinking of chucking something at her on stage better make it with her while. Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, 31 July 2023 The bird seemingly wasn’t fazed by the wound or the projectile that caused it. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 22 Aug. 2023 In action mode, the 37-inch-long toy ship features two separate vehicle launch ramps, two projectile launchers and space to store PAW Patrol action figures inside. Sarah Maberry, Good Housekeeping, 28 July 2023 The projectiles and mortars comprised about 8.5% of the country’s original chemical weapons stockpile of 30,610 tons of agent. Andrew Demillo, Thomas Peipert, and Dylan Lovan, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 July 2023
There are projectile weapons, energy swords, missile launchers, shields, and more. Ash Parrish, The Verge, 25 July 2023 Jones, who also declined to comment for this article, has said his goal in suing the city and Bueno was not just to win a settlement for himself but to confront the lack of accountability within the department — particularly around the misuse of projectile weapons. Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2023 Jones’ attorneys have said Bueno fired far more than other officers with projectile weapons, and that the true total is unknowable because his body-camera was turned off for much of the day. Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2023 This is used to describe a player or hero that does damage without any projectile travel time. Dallas News, 3 May 2022 Many animals have projectile weapons: some ants can spray formic acid; the bombardier beetles can spew immobilising glue. Ed Yong, Discover Magazine, 15 Dec. 2011 Extremely curious how this arc melee enhancer will work if as expect, Hunters get a projectile arc melee for 3.0. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 11 July 2022 Along with the drone, police used an armored personnel carrier to approach the suspect, and then brandished both a military-style assault rifle and a projectile launcher that fires nonlethal rounds of hardened sponge. Joe Tash, San Diego Union-Tribune, 8 May 2022 Great Glintstone Shard has had its projectile speed and range increased. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'projectile.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1564, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1715, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of projectile was in 1564

Dictionary Entries Near projectile

Cite this Entry

“Projectile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


: something (as a bullet or rocket) thrown or driven forward especially from or for use as a weapon
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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