pro·jec·tion | \prə-ˈjek-shən \

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, -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

Steinkamp’s radiant large-scale projections, which heighten and inflate natural imagery, question technology’s impact on perceptions of nature., "The week ahead: music, theater, art, and more," 13 July 2018 Based on current projections, the Knicks and Nets would both have tens of millions in salary-cap room next summer to make maximum-salary type offers to Walker, a New York native. Rick Bonnell, charlotteobserver, "Why All-Star Kemba Walker’s New York ties should worry Charlotte Hornets," 13 July 2018 Past, present and future are coterminous here, a sense underscored by Jon Clark’s lighting and Luke Halls’s video projections, which summon an eternal Manhattan that is equal parts steel and shadow. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "Review: ‘The Lehman Trilogy’ Is a Transfixing Epic of Riches and Ruin," 13 July 2018 This is the first step to astral projection, the ability to willfully manifest out-of-body experiences. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "How to Tap Into Your Own Psychic Abilities," 2 July 2018 But here decisions were made based on revenue projections. Sharon Coolidge,, "Cincinnati council members agreed on a budget. Here are the winners and losers.," 25 June 2018 This new exhibit, opening Saturday, features 20 exotic dinosaur species, including full-size skeletons, life-size video projections, games, augmented reality viewers and more. Sandy Guerra-cline, star-telegram, "Old 97's head west for Concerts in Garden appearance," 21 June 2018 For the latest news, intel and pick projections, scroll down. Jeremy Woo,, "2018 NBA Mock Draft 11.0: Trade Rumors and Final Picks for Both Rounds," 21 June 2018 In 2017, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report on projections out to 2040 with largely similar results. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Report: World trending to hit 50% renewables, 11% coal by 2050," 20 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to projection

astral projection

Statistics for projection

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for projection

The first known use of projection was in 1551

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More Definitions for projection



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 \

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 \

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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Comments on projection

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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