Simple Definition of propel
: to push or drive (someone or something) forward or in a particular direction
Full Definition of propel
: to drive forward or onward by or as if by means of a force that imparts motion
Examples of propel in a sentence
He grabbed him and propelled him through the door.
The train is propelled by steam.
Origin and Etymology of propel
Middle English propellen, from Latin propellere, from pro- before + pellere to drive — more at felt
First Known Use: 15th century
PROPEL Defined for Kids
Definition of propel for Students
: to push or cause to move usually forward or onward
Word Root of propel
The Latin word pellere, meaning “to cause to move” or “to drive,” gives us the root pel. Words from the Latin pellere have something to do with driving or causing something to move. To propel is to drive forward. To compel is to drive someone to do something. To expel is to drive out. To repel is to drive back or away.
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