project onto

project onto (someone or something)

1. To cast a light or illuminated image of someone or something, as from a film or slide, onto some surface. A noun or pronoun is used between "project" and "onto." We darkened the room and projected the film onto the wall. Would you mind erasing the writing on the white board so I can project the notes for today onto it? He projected a beam of light onto the car so I could see what I was doing.
2. To attribute some subconscious element, such as grief, insecurity, pain, etc., on another person or thing as a way of externalizing and avoiding it. A noun or pronoun can be used between "project" and "onto" to specify what the person is projecting. It sounds like she might be projecting onto your relationship a bit—I know that she's got a lot of baggage from her childhood that she's still trying to cope with. I wish you would stop projecting your insecurities onto me—it's ruining our friendship!
See also: project
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

project something onto someone

to imagine that someone else experiences one's feelings, especially one's guilt or anger. Since you project your anger onto your best friends, you imagine you have gathered a number of angry people around you. You should not project your feelings onto other people.
See also: project
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The wall in the film becomes like a screen the viewer can project onto. During the film you begin to think of other walls, both physical and internal.
Director Ridley Scott fell in love with the story in 1977 but it has taken him three decades to put his pet project onto the big screen.
The screen that Beloved projects onto Sethe and the screen that Sethe and Denver project onto Beloved lead to "instance[s] of misunderstanding" throughout the novel: ".
Sometimes the tiny panes are empty, but occasionally we get a Rear Window glimpse of head or neck and project onto the scene whatever sly meaning comes to mind.
Several of the large paintings from the '80s are accompanied by sketches painted on acetate, which Lichtenstein would project onto canvas, as in the Magna Study for Two Apples, 1981.
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