Definition of trajectory in English:


Line breaks: tra|jec¦tory
Pronunciation: /trəˈdʒɛkt(ə)ri
, ˈtradʒɪkt(ə)ri

noun (plural trajectories)

  • 1The path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces: the missile’s trajectory was preset figurative the rapid upward trajectory of Rich’s career
    More example sentences
    • 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.
  • 2 Geometry A curve or surface cutting a family of curves or surfaces at a constant angle.
    More example sentences
    • 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.


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

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