pro·​jec·​tion | \ prə-ˈjek-shən How to pronounce projection (audio) \

Definition of projection

1a : a systematic presentation of intersecting coordinate lines on a flat surface upon which features from a curved surface (as of the earth or the celestial sphere) may be mapped an equal-area map projection
b : the process or technique of reproducing a spatial object upon a plane or curved surface or a line by projecting its points also : a graph or figure so formed
2 : a transforming change
3 : the act of throwing or thrusting forward
4 : the forming of a plan : scheming
5a(1) : a jutting out
(2) : a part that juts out
b : a view of a building or architectural element
6a : the act of perceiving a mental object as spatially and sensibly objective also : something so perceived
b : the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety
7 : the display of motion pictures by projecting an image from them upon a screen
8a : the act of projecting especially to an audience
b : control of the volume, clarity, and distinctness of a voice to gain greater audibility
9 : an estimate of future possibilities based on a current trend

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Other Words from projection

projectional \ prə-​ˈjek-​shnəl How to pronounce projection (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for projection

projection, protrusion, protuberance, bulge mean an extension beyond the normal line or surface. projection implies a jutting out especially at a sharp angle. those projections along the wall are safety hazards protrusion suggests a thrusting out so that the extension seems a deformity. the bizarre protrusions of a coral reef protuberance implies a growing or swelling out in rounded form. a skin disease marked by warty protuberances bulge suggests an expansion caused by internal pressure. bulges in the tile floor

Did You Know?

Projection has various meanings, but what they all have in common is that something is sent out or forward. A movie is projected onto a screen; a skilled actress projects her voice out into a large theater without seeming to shout; and something sticking out from a wall can be called a projection. But the meaning we focus on here is the one used by businesses and governments. Most projections of this kind are estimates of a company's sales or profits--or of the finances of a town, state, or country--sometime in the future.

Examples of projection in a Sentence

He gave a projection of future expenses. projections on the rock wall
Recent Examples on the Web Aimed at celebrating progress, identifying technological gaps, and inspiring scientists to pursue the most impactful areas of research, his team published its latest projection in October. Megan Molteni, Wired, "30 Years Since the Human Genome Project Began, What’s Next?," 30 Dec. 2020 Its Elo projection isn't much better, forecasting a 24-48 overall record (tied for league-worst with the Cleveland Cavaliers) and a 13% chance of making the playoffs. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons projected to be worst team in NBA this season by FiveThirtyEight," 17 Dec. 2020 The forecasting firm last week sharply upgraded its economic growth projection for next year, to 4.3% from 3.1%, in good part because of better-than-expected news on vaccines and expectations of more federal relief. Don Lee Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Vaccines’ rollout and pent-up consumer demand brighten U.S. economic outlook," 16 Dec. 2020 One study estimated — on the basis of a projection for Italy — that the world could be using up to 129 billion face masks a month. Washington Post, "The pandemic is generating tons of discarded PPE. This entrepreneur is turning them into bricks.," 25 Nov. 2020 Edge rushers look top heavy as well, with a lot of projection required. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2021 NFL Mock Draft: First-round projections," 25 Nov. 2020 What the live streams actually showed was a graphic of a projection of an election outcome with Mr. Biden leading. Mike Isaac, New York Times, "Social Media Companies Survived Election Day. More Tests Loom.," 4 Nov. 2020 Unfortunately, that kind of generational projection is not anything new. Elly Belle,, "Claudia Conway Isn’t Here To “Save Us” — & Neither Is Gen Z," 6 Oct. 2020 The studios cut a deal with the major multiplex owners to reimburse much of the cost of digital projection over a 10-year period. Michael Phillips,, "Column: ‘Black Widow,’ ‘West Side Story’ postponed again, this time to 2021. Theaters are stuck and closing again," 23 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'projection.' 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 projection

1551, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for projection

Time Traveler

The first known use of projection was in 1551

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Statistics for projection

Last Updated

6 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Projection.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for projection


How to pronounce projection (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of projection

: an estimate of what might happen in the future based on what is happening now
: something that sticks out from a surface
: the act or process of causing a picture, movie, etc., to appear on a surface


pro·​jec·​tion | \ prə-ˈjek-shən How to pronounce projection (audio) \

Kids Definition of projection

1 : something that sticks out
2 : the act or process of causing to appear on a surface (as by means of motion pictures or slides)


pro·​jec·​tion | \ prə-ˈjek-shən How to pronounce projection (audio) \

Medical Definition of projection

1a : the process or technique of reproducing a spatial object or a section of such an object upon a plane or curved surface
b : a diagram or figure formed by projection especially : view
2a : the act of referring a mental image constructed by the brain from bits of data collected by the sense organs to the actual source of stimulation outside the body
b : the attribution of one's own ideas, feelings, or attitudes to other people or to objects especially : the externalization of blame, guilt, or responsibility as a defense against anxiety
3 : the functional correspondence and connection of parts of the cerebral cortex with other parts of the organism the projection of the retina upon the visual area

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