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[noun proj-ekt, -ikt; verb pruh-jekt] /noun ˈprɒdʒ ɛkt, -ɪkt; verb prəˈdʒɛkt/
something that is contemplated, devised, or planned; plan; scheme.
a large or major undertaking, especially one involving considerable money, personnel, and equipment.
a specific task of investigation, especially in scholarship.
Education. a supplementary, long-term educational assignment necessitating personal initiative, undertaken by an individual student or a group of students.
Often, projects. housing project.
verb (used with object), , project
[pruh-jekt] /prəˈdʒɛkt/ (Show IPA)
to propose, contemplate, or plan.
to throw, cast, or impel forward or onward.
to set forth or calculate (some future thing):
They projected the building costs for the next five years.
to throw or cause to fall upon a surface or into space, as a ray of light or a shadow.
to cause (a figure or image) to appear, as on a background.
to regard (something within the mind, as a feeling, thought, or attitude) as having some form of reality outside the mind:
He projected a thrilling picture of the party's future.
to cause to jut out or protrude.
  1. to throw forward an image of (a figure or the like) by straight lines or rays, either parallel, converging, or diverging, that pass through all its points and reproduce it on another surface or figure.
  2. to transform the points (of one figure) into those of another by a correspondence between points.
to present (an idea, program, etc.) for consideration or action:
They made every effort to project the notion of world peace.
to use (one's voice, gestures, etc.) forcefully enough to be perceived at a distance, as by all members of the audience in a theater.
to communicate clearly and forcefully (one's thoughts, personality, role, etc.) to an audience, as in a theatrical performance; produce a compelling image of.
to cause (the voice) to appear to come from a source other than oneself, as in ventriloquism; throw.
verb (used without object), , project
[pruh-jekt] /prəˈdʒɛkt/ (Show IPA)
to extend or protrude beyond something else.
to use one's voice forcefully enough to be heard at a distance, as in a theater.
to produce a clear impression of one's thoughts, personality, role, etc., in an audience; communicate clearly and forcefully.
Psychology. to ascribe one's own feelings, thoughts, or attitudes to others.
Origin of project
1350-1400; (noun) Middle English project(e) design, plan < Medieval Latin prōjectum, Latin: projecting part, noun use of neuter of Latin prōjectus, past participle of prōicere to throw forward, extend, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + -icere, combining form of jacere to throw; (v.) late Middle English project(e) (past participle) extended, projected < Latin prōjectus
Related forms
projectable, adjective
projectingly, adverb
counterproject, noun
nonprojecting, adjective
reproject, verb
subproject, noun
unprojected, adjective
unprojecting, adjective
1. proposal. 6. contrive, scheme, plot, devise. 8. predict. 18. bulge, obtrude, overhang.
Synonym Study
1. See plan. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for project
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The lord-mayor soon withdrew his countenance from the project.

    Biographical Sketches Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • It was a project which pleased her taste, and gratified her aristocratic notions.

  • But in his heart, I am sure, he was relieved by my perseverance in the project.

    In the Valley Harold Frederic
  • Startling as this may now seem, I am confident the time will come when the project will be realised.'

  • Mr. Field invited Mr. Gisborne to his house in order to discuss the project.

British Dictionary definitions for project


noun (ˈprɒdʒɛkt)
a proposal, scheme, or design
  1. a task requiring considerable or concerted effort, such as one by students
  2. the subject of such a task
(US) short for housing project
verb (prəˈdʒɛkt)
(transitive) to propose or plan
(transitive) to predict; estimate; extrapolate: we can project future needs on the basis of the current birth rate
(transitive) to throw or cast forwards
to jut or cause to jut out
(transitive) to send forth or transport in the imagination: to project oneself into the future
(transitive) to cause (an image) to appear on a surface
to cause (one's voice) to be heard clearly at a distance
  1. (intransitive) (esp of a child) to believe that others share one's subjective mental life
  2. to impute to others (one's hidden desires and impulses), esp as a means of defending oneself Compare introject
(transitive) (geometry) to draw a projection of
(intransitive) to communicate effectively, esp to a large gathering
Word Origin
C14: from Latin prōicere to throw down, from pro-1 + iacere to throw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for project

c.1400, "a plan, draft, scheme," from Latin proiectum "something thrown forth," noun use of neuter of proiectus, past participle of proicere "stretch out, throw forth," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + combining form of iacere (past participle iactus) "to throw" (see jet (v.)).

Meaning "scheme, proposal, mental plan" is from c.1600. Meaning "group of low-rent apartment buildings" first recorded 1935, American English, short for housing project (1932). Related: Projects. Project manager attested from 1913.


late 15c., "to plan," from Latin proiectus, past participle of proicere (see project (n.)). Sense of "to stick out" is from 1718. Meaning "to cast an image on a screen" is recorded from 1865. Psychoanalytical sense, "attribute to another (unconsciously)" is from 1895 (implied in a use of projective). Meaning "convey to others by one's manner" is recorded by 1955. Related: Projected; projecting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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project in Medicine

project proj·ect (prŏj'kt', -ĭkt)

  1. A plan or proposal; a scheme.

  2. An undertaking requiring concerted effort.

v. (prə-jěkt') pro·ject·ed, pro·ject·ing, pro·jects
  1. To extend forward or out; jut out:

  2. To cause an image to appear on a surface.

  3. In psychology, to externalize and attribute something, such as an emotion, to someone or something else.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for project


Related Terms

crash program

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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