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Formed by the suffixation of prōiect- (the perfect passive participial stem of the Classical Latin prōiciō, whence the English verb project) with the English -ive; however, compare the post-Classical Latin prōiectīvus (relating to purging).



projective (comparative more projective, superlative most projective)

  1. projecting outward
  2. of, relating to, or caused by a projection
  3. (mathematics) describing those properties of a figure that are invariant upon projection


projective (plural projectives)

  1. (psychology) An assessment test that presents subjects with some sort of stimulus to which they react by projecting or imagining details.
    • 1984, Lawrence A. Pervin, Personality: Theory and Research, →ISBN, page 322:
      The projectives suggested considerable difficulty with women and a conflict between sexual preoccupation and hostility.
    • 2009, Paul J. Frick, ‎Christopher T. Barry, & ‎Randy W. Kamphaus, Clinical Assessment of Child and Adolescent Personality and Behavior, →ISBN:
      For example, using projectives as a psychometric technique allows one to compare a person's score with those from a normative group, or with those from some relevant clinic group, or with some other clinically important criterion (e.g., response to treatment).
    • 2012, Linda C. Wing & ‎Bernard R. Gifford, Policy Issues in Employment Testing, →ISBN, page 174:
      The unimpressive evidence for validity and operational problems related to projectives led Reilly and Chao to a pessimistic conclusion regarding projectives.
    • 2015, Paul Hackett, Qualitative Research Methods in Consumer Psychology, →ISBN:
      With its origins based in the field of psychology, projectives (also referred to as projective exercises or projective techniques) when used in qualitative research are fun "assignments" most often implemented during focus groups. Their goal is to elicit deeper, more visceral feelings from respondents -- about brands, products, concepts, advertising, and so on -- viewpoints that may go unmentioned when using more direct lines of inquiry.
  2. (mathematics) A projective member of a category.
    • 1965, Theory of Categories, →ISBN, page 109:
      By 2.2 we see that this is a full, contravariant imbedding, and by 2.3 the image of A in (A, G) is a generating set of small projectives.
    • 1999, Maurice Auslander, ‎Idun Reiten, ‎& Sverre O. Smalø, Selected Works of Maurice Auslander - Part 1, →ISBN, page 490:
      In particular our assumptions hold if B is an abelian category with enough projectives.
    • 2012, M. Scott Osborne, Basic Homological Algebra, →ISBN, page 187:
      The idea behind “cheating with projectives” in a pre-Abelian category with a separating class of projectives is this: Make the arrows do the work that elements do in concrete categories.
  3. (linguistics) A statement about a conditional or potential state of affairs, as opposed to one about a situation that actually exists or existed.
    • 1995, Keith E. Nelson & ‎Zita Reger, Children's Language - Volume 8, →ISBN:
      There was no basis for expecting differences in the frequency of projectives or turnabouts as a function of partner.
    • 2007, Ronald James Williams & ‎John C. Beckman, Williams' Hebrew Syntax, →ISBN, page 78:
      The volitive moods (also called volitives, volitional forms, modals, or projectives) are the imperative, jussive, and cohortative.
    • 2012, Jean Curthoys & ‎Victor Dudman, Victor Dudman's Grammar and Semantics, →ISBN, page 74:
      This implies they contain more information than projectives. For if language is a code, then every element of that code – here, every word, every form of a word – would register a distinct semantic ingredient.

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  1. feminine of projectif