proj·​ect | \ˈprä-ˌjekt, -jikt also ˈprō-\

Definition of project 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a specific plan or design : scheme

2 obsolete : idea

3 : a planned undertaking: such as

a : a definitely formulated piece of research

b : a large usually government-supported undertaking

c : a task or problem engaged in usually by a group of students to supplement and apply classroom studies

4 : a usually public housing development consisting of houses or apartments built and arranged according to a single plan


pro·​ject | \prə-ˈjekt \
projected; projecting; projects

Definition of project (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to devise in the mind : design

b : to plan, figure, or estimate for the future

2 : to throw or cast forward : thrust

3 : to put or set forth : present for consideration

4 : to cause to jut out

5 : to cause (light or shadow) to fall into space or (an image) to fall on a surface

6 : to reproduce (something, such as a point, line, or area) on a surface by motion in a prescribed direction

7 : to display outwardly especially to an audience

8 : to attribute (one's own ideas, feelings, or characteristics) to other people or to objects a nation is an entity on which one can project many of the worst of one's instinctsThe Times Literary Supplement (London)

intransitive verb

1 : to jut out : protrude

2a : to come across vividly : give an impression

b : to make oneself heard clearly

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Other Words from project


projectable \prə-​ˈjek-​tə-​bəl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for project


plan, design, plot, scheme, project mean a method devised for making or doing something or achieving an end. plan always implies mental formulation and sometimes graphic representation. plans for a house design often suggests a particular pattern and some degree of achieved order or harmony. a design for a new dress plot implies a laying out in clearly distinguished sections with attention to their relations and proportions. the plot of the play scheme stresses calculation of the end in view and may apply to a plan motivated by craftiness and self-interest. a scheme to defraud the government project often stresses imaginative scope and vision. a project to develop the waterfront

Examples of project in a Sentence


an ambitious project to develop the city's waterfront


He projected next year's costs as being slightly higher than this year's. It's difficult to project funding needs so far into the future. an athlete who projects a positive image to young people We need an actor who projects a tough-guy image.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Islamabad, for instance, has formed a 15,000-strong force to protect China’s projects. Eva Dou, WSJ, "Militants Attack Chinese Consulate in Pakistan," 23 Nov. 2018 The actresses on Hallmark all follow one another on social media, promote each other's projects, and attend red carpets together. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "There's a Reason Why You See the Same Women in All Those Hallmark Christmas Movies," 23 Nov. 2018 With 11 Korean music projects (nine EPs and a full-length album) under their belts, Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Jihyo, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu have tried out variations of bright lip tints, space buns, and glitter eye shadow. Lai Frances, Allure, "A Comprehensive Guide to the Evolution of Twice's Hair and Makeup," 6 Nov. 2018 According to Variety, Glow's Marquita Robinson will write the script for that project and Girls Trip writer Tracy Oliver will produce, though who will play Cher is still a mystery. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "A New Adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma Is in the Works," 26 Oct. 2018 Well, Emma's caption mentions Tom’s upcoming project Origin, a YouTube original series that follows the story of humans colonizing the only planet that can sustain life. Nicole Weaver, Teen Vogue, "Emma Watson and Tom Felton Held a "Harry Potter" Reunion," 8 Nov. 2018 Which is why the previous record for proximity to the Suns has stood since 1976 when an American-West German joint project known as Helios 2 got within 27 million miles of our star. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Probe Gets Closer to Sun Than Any Human-Made Object in History," 30 Oct. 2018 In 2019, the Girls First Fund will support projects in six countries around the world: Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, India, Nepal, Niger and Uganda. Liz Cantrell, Town & Country, "New Charity VOW Partners With the Wedding Industry to End Child Marriage," 29 Oct. 2018 And later this month, we'll be glued to our sectionals watching her next project, Dirty John. Lindsey Benoit O'connell, Redbook, "Connie Britton Shares Her Rules for a Totally Chill Holiday Season," 29 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Like Ugg boots or Abercrombie jeans, gorgeous hair is another monetary measurement one may use to project their socioeconomic status. Veronica Walsingham, SELF, "Growing Up With Less Money Than My Friends Made Me Obsessed With Having Wealthy-Looking Hair," 15 Nov. 2018 The United States already uses its unmatched fleet of cargo planes to project its influence and move its forces across the globe. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force Is Actually Considering Rocket Launches to Move Cargo Around the Globe," 29 Oct. 2018 The dual front-firing speakers are designed to project toward the user. Melissa Riofrio, PCWorld, "Google Pixel Slate: The top features, specs, and highlights," 9 Oct. 2018 Trump at times has struggled to project empathy during national crisis. Fox News, "The Latest: Trump assures South Carolina as flooding lingers," 19 Sep. 2018 Updated on Thursday, November 6, at 10:30 P.M.: Democrats and Republicans are still both gaining seats in the House as the 2018 midterms unfold, but Democrats are now projected to take control, as CNN noted. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "2018 Midterm Congressional Election Results: Which Party Is Winning the House and the Senate?," 7 Nov. 2018 The Huskies also did a good job inside against WKU center Charles Bassey, a 6-11 freshman who is projected to be a NBA draft lottery pick next summer. Percy Allen, The Seattle Times, "Three takeaways from Washington’s 73-55 season-opening win over Western Kentucky," 7 Nov. 2018 Two Native American women will be serving in the House, as well: New Mexico’s Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, who is projected to win in Kansas. Lynn Yaeger, Vogue, "10 Good Things That Came Out of the Midterm Elections," 7 Nov. 2018 In June, the South China Morning Post reported 29,000 cars are projected to traverse the bridge daily by 2030, although recent forecasts have estimated considerably less traffic in the immediate future. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "China Opens Gargantuan 34-Mile Mega Bridge," 23 Oct. 2018

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

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First Known Use of project


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for project


Middle English projecte, from Medieval Latin projectum, from Latin, neuter of projectus, past participle of proicere to throw forward, from pro- + jacere to throw — more at jet


Anglo-French projecter, from Latin projectus, past participle

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Learn More about project

Statistics for project

Last Updated

29 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for project

The first known use of project was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for project



English Language Learners Definition of project

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a planned piece of work that has a specific purpose (such as to find information or to make something new) and that usually requires a lot of time

: a task or problem in school that requires careful work over a long period of time



English Language Learners Definition of project (Entry 2 of 2)

: to plan, calculate, or estimate (something) for a time in the future

: to cause (light, a picture, a movie, etc.) to appear on a surface

: to have or show (a particular quality, image, etc., that can be seen by other people)


proj·​ect | \ˈprä-ˌjekt, -jikt\

Kids Definition of project

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a plan or scheme to do something home improvement projects

2 : a task or problem in school that requires work over a period of time and is often displayed or presented a science project

3 : a group of houses or apartment buildings built according to a single plan


pro·​ject | \prə-ˈjekt \
projected; projecting

Kids Definition of project (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to stick out The rock projected above the ground.

2 : to cause to fall on a surface The machine projects motion pictures on a screen.

3 : to send or throw forward


transitive verb
pro·​ject | \prə-ˈjekt \

Medical Definition of project 

: to attribute or assign (something in one's own mind or a personal characteristic) to a person, group, or object the patient projected hostility onto the therapist

intransitive verb

: to connect by sending nerve fibers or processes cells of the lateral geniculate body project to the back part of the cerebral cortex

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More from Merriam-Webster on project

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with project

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for project

Spanish Central: Translation of project

Nglish: Translation of project for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of project for Arabic Speakers

Comments on project

What made you want to look up project? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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