pro·​mul·​gate ˈprä-məl-ˌgāt How to pronounce promulgate (audio)
ˈprō-(ˌ)məl- How to pronounce promulgate (audio)
promulgated; promulgating

transitive verb

: to make (an idea, belief, etc.) known to many people by open declaration : proclaim
… the huge meeting served primarily as the occasion on which to promulgate the official doctrine …Roger Shattuck
From the beginning our objective has been to develop and promulgate new models for the calculus-based introductory course.John S. Rigden et al.
: to make known or public the terms of (a proposed law)
The law was promulgated in February 1993.
: to put (a law or rule) into action or force
… more than 200 colleges and universities have promulgated behavioral codes that punish various forms of harassment …Ken Myers
ˌprä-məl-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce promulgate (audio)
ˈprä-məl-ˌgā-tər How to pronounce promulgate (audio)

Did you know?

The origin of promulgate is a bit murky, or perhaps we should say "milky." It comes from Latin promulgatus, which in turn derives from pro-, meaning "forward," and -mulgare, a form that is probably related to the verb mulgēre, meaning "to milk" or "to extract." Mulgēre is an ancestor of the English word emulsion ("mixture of mutually insoluble liquids"), and it is also related to the Old English word that became milk itself. Like its synonyms declare, announce, and proclaim, promulgate means "to make known publicly." It particularly implies the proclaiming of a dogma, doctrine, or law.

Choose the Right Synonym for promulgate

declare, announce, proclaim, promulgate mean to make known publicly.

declare implies explicitness and usually formality in making known.

the referee declared the contest a draw

announce implies the declaration of something for the first time.

announced their engagement at a party

proclaim implies declaring clearly, forcefully, and authoritatively.

the president proclaimed a national day of mourning

promulgate implies the proclaiming of a dogma, doctrine, or law.

promulgated an edict of religious toleration

Examples of promulgate in a Sentence

Her ideas have been widely promulgated on the Internet. The law was promulgated in April 1988.
Recent Examples on the Web Popular on Variety Concerns over the use of AI specifically to promulgate political misinformation go back years. Todd Spangler, Variety, 22 May 2024 To address these concerns, the lawmakers propose that the Biden Administration encourage the FTC to promulgate a rule under Section 5 of the FTC Act, aimed at prohibiting or curbing exclusionary contracting in the food industry. Nik Popli, TIME, 13 May 2024 Many/most/nearly all of the obscene costs intrinsic to these hospitals is promulgated by endless uncompensated and unproductive government meddling and mandates, the end product of which is DMV-like bureaucracy and bloat. Patrick Skerrett, STAT, 4 May 2024 Most recently, Gazan journalists promulgated the despicable lie that Israeli troops were raping Palestinians en masse in Shifa Hospital. Eitan Fischberger, National Review, 13 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for promulgate 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'promulgate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin promulgatus, past participle of promulgare, from pro- forward + -mulgare (probably akin to mulgēre to milk, extract) — more at emulsion

First Known Use

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of promulgate was in 1530


Dictionary Entries Near promulgate

Cite this Entry

“Promulgate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


pro·​mul·​gate ˈpräm-əl-ˌgāt How to pronounce promulgate (audio) prō-ˈməl- How to pronounce promulgate (audio)
promulgated; promulgating
: to make known or make public
promulgate a new law
ˌpräm-əl-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce promulgate (audio)

Legal Definition


transitive verb
prom·​ul·​gate ˈprä-məl-ˌgāt, prō-ˈməl- How to pronounce promulgate (audio)
promulgated; promulgating
: to make known or public
: to put (as a regulation) into effect

More from Merriam-Webster on promulgate

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