Definition of trajectory in English:


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nounplural noun trajectories

  • 1The path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces.

    ‘the missile's trajectory was preset’
    • ‘the rapid upward trajectory of Rich's career’
    • ‘As supply meets demand, a future is created, independent of any plan, but revealed in the trajectories of market forces.’
    • ‘Mortars are ballistic weapons that have projectile trajectories undistorted by rocket engine or guidance system.’
    • ‘Suborbital paths are the trajectories of choice for ballistic missiles.’
    • ‘Then the viewer sees some object describe a trajectory down from the ridge where the camera is.’
    • ‘The trajectory is the path traced by the center of gravity of the projectile from the origin to the level point.’
    • ‘Turning toward the central piece I choose a path defined by the trajectory of a rail leading to the center.’
    • ‘At this time ideas of the trajectory taken by a projectile were still dominated by Aristotle's thinking.’
    • ‘A ray path is the trajectory that a small packet of seismic energy follows as it travels through the Earth.’
    • ‘After all, we still use Newton's law of gravitation to explain and predict the trajectories of projectiles, even though it is no longer believed to be strictly true.’
    • ‘I can also move things through the dome by drawing paths through trajectories - it's limitless what you can do.’
    • ‘The reaction paths are five-dimensional trajectories that cannot be summarized in a single picture.’
    • ‘In this study, these themes describe common decision trajectories.’
    • ‘A talk on an Air Force rocket-fuel project set their own research trajectories in a new direction.’
    • ‘The dust trails spread out over time as each particle continues to orbit the Sun on a trajectory similar to the path of the parent comet.’
    • ‘A guided missile corrects its trajectory as it flies, homing in, say, on the heat of a jet plane's exhaust.’
    • ‘The ball soared in the azure sky like a missile with a perfect trajectory and rolled a lot upon landing.’
    • ‘A few years ago, my playing partner hit a drive which had the trajectory of an Exocet missile.’
    • ‘Since then it has been on an upward trajectory and now stands at over 20 per cent.’
    • ‘Among lawful sequences of events are Galileo's laws of free fall and the parabolic trajectory of projectiles.’
    • ‘By 1604 he concluded that projectiles travel along parabolic trajectories.’
    course, route, path, track, line, orbit, flight, flight path, ambit, direction, bearing, orientation, way, tack, approach
    View synonyms
  • 2Geometry
    A curve or surface cutting a family of curves or surfaces at a constant angle.

    ‘These three trajectories are known as conic sections, as they are also the curves produced by cutting a cone along different planes.’
    • ‘The thick line is a calculated trajectory near a surface and the thin line is a trajectory far from any surface.’
    • ‘To investigate this possibility, a simple system can be designed to generate drip trajectories where the degree of chaos can be tuned.’
    • ‘So now, you have an intersecting curvature, at every point, say, along a trajectory.’
    • ‘Thus, large interception errors were only found for ball trajectories ending relatively far from one's midline.’



/trəˈjekt(ə)rē/ /trəˈdʒɛkt(ə)ri/


Late 17th century from modern Latin trajectoria (feminine), from Latin traject- ‘thrown across’, from the verb traicere, from trans- ‘across’ + jacere ‘to throw’.