pro·​jec·​tile | \ prə-ˈjek-tᵊl How to pronounce projectile (audio) , -ˌtī(-ə)l, chiefly British ˈprä-jik-ˌtī(-ə)l How to pronounce projectile (audio) \

Definition of projectile

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a body projected by external force and continuing in motion by its own inertia especially : a missile for a weapon (such as a firearm)
2 : a self-propelling weapon (such as a rocket)



Definition of projectile (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : projecting or impelling forward a projectile force
2 : 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: Noun Blank rounds have a distinct appearance – with a crimped or plugged tip where the bullet would go and no projectile. Fox News, 26 Apr. 2022 Skyburner’s Oath - Hip-fire projectile no longer tracks, but arcs similar to a Grenade Launcher and has a larger detonation size than ADS. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 At least one projectile landed but did not explode close to a house near the city of Sderot, just outside the Strip. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2022 Some suspects were shot at a distance from police, including one man with a sword who was simultaneously shot in the street with a projectile and a rifle round from 77 feet away. Los Angeles Times, 18 Apr. 2022 Perhaps less than on projectile shots, but something. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 17 Apr. 2022 Blank rounds have a distinct appearance – with a crimped or plugged tip where the bullet would go and no projectile. Fox News, 6 Apr. 2022 Approximately one pound of the projectile is an explosive charge, the rest is a metal casing designed to fragment and send shrapnel flying. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 15 Mar. 2022 Investigators say during seven to nine of those minutes, the engineer was listening to and participating in the radio conversations regarding other trains being hit with a projectile. Sonia Moghe, CNN, 4 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective 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 Unverified footage that circulated on social media appeared to show moving lights from anti-projectile defenses being fired into the pre-dawn sky over the UAE capital that day. Reuters, CNN, 27 Jan. 2022 In physics, this would be a projectile motion problem. Rhett Allain, Wired, 26 Nov. 2021 Blank cartridges don’t contain a projectile bullet; instead cartridges are loaded only with gunpowder to create a bang and a fiery flash at the end of the gun’s barrel, all meant to heighten the effect for viewers. John Jurgensen, WSJ, 22 Oct. 2021 The legislation requires law enforcement officers to be trained on the safe use of kinetic projectiles and chemical agents and other de-escalation techniques before using projectile weapons. Patrick Mcgreevy, Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep. 2021 The officer appears to be using a projectile shotgun that fires beanbag rounds. Kevin Rector, Los Angeles Times, 22 Apr. 2021 The key to any projectile motion problem is that the horizontal and vertical motions are independent, except for the time. Rhett Allain, Wired, 13 Aug. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'projectile.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of projectile


1564, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1715, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of projectile was in 1564

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Dictionary Entries Near projectile



projectile lathe

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Last Updated

4 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Projectile.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for projectile


pro·​jec·​tile | \ prə-ˈjek-təl How to pronounce projectile (audio) \

Kids Definition of projectile

: something (as a bullet or rocket) thrown or shot especially from a weapon


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