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

The Fed's current projection for the neutral rate — the point where monetary policy is not stimulating growth or restraining it — is 2.9 percent. Martin Crutsinger,, "Federal Reserve projects further gradual hikes in key rate," 13 July 2018 These facilities include mock hospital settings and technology like 360-degree video, interactive digital walls, virtual-reality and mixed-reality headsets and holographic-projection screens. Leigh Kamping-carder, WSJ, "How Holograms Are Helping Medical Training," 5 July 2018 While this year’s estimate increased by $46.5 million, or 1.1 percent, over last month’s projections, the 2019 forecast remained flat. Washington Post, "Delaware revenue estimate rises again as budget votes near," 18 June 2018 With a projection screen in the dining room and six TVs around the bar, the games will always be in sight for anyone in the bar. Elizabeth Backo, azcentral, "13 places to watch the 2018 World Cup in metro Phoenix," 12 June 2018 The main restaurant features eight big-screen TVs and a 10-foot projection screen. Geoff Bruce, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Sideliners fills void in North Prairie for sports bar," 26 Mar. 2018 The presentation is a mixture of photos and videos with about three photos presented on a projection screen while LeGear lectures before each video clip. Frank Vaisvilas, Daily Southtown, "Palos Hills man to give history lesson at South Suburban College," 22 Mar. 2018 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

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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Statistics for projection

Last Updated

23 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).


playful or foolish behavior

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