pro·​mul·​gate | \ˈprä-məl-ˌgāt; prō-ˈməl-, prə-ˈməl-, ˈprō-(ˌ)məl- \
promulgated; promulgating

Definition of promulgate 

transitive verb

1 : 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.

2a : to make known or public the terms of (a proposed law) The law was promulgated in February 1993.

b : 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

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Other Words from promulgate

promulgation \ˌprä-​məl-​ˈgā-​shən; ˌprō-​(ˌ)məl-​, (ˌ)prō-​ˌməl-​ \ noun
promulgator \ˈprä-​məl-​ˌgā-​tər; prō-​ˈməl-​, prə-​ˈməl-​, ˈprō-​(ˌ)məl-​ \ noun

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

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.

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

Democrats who were once enthralled with Silicon Valley fell out of love with Facebook following reports that Russian trolls used its platform to promulgate fake news and ads to support Donald Trump in 2016. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Democrats Unfriend Facebook," 11 Apr. 2018 So Pedersen set it motion a year-long process — promulgating rules, getting the governor’s signature, getting the Legislature and on March 15 Wyoming was ready to help make bare-knuckle history. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Fight club: Legalized bare-knuckle boxing may be next big show in ring," 4 June 2018 To her, excluding these narratives from the show constitutes a missed opportunity, forcing people of color in the cast to promulgate a historical narrative that still refuses to give them a place in it. Kate Keller, Smithsonian, "The Issue on the Table: Is “Hamilton” Good For History?," 30 May 2018 Criticism of the group as oppressive and misogynistic was promulgated by disaffected former member Adrian J. Reimers, a former Notre Dame adjunct assistant professor of philosophy. Dan Hinkel,, "Potential Trump Supreme Court pick Barrett: Catholic Chicago judge stirs abortion debate," 5 July 2018 The entry suspension is an act that is well within executive authority and could have been taken by any other President—the only question is evaluating the actions of this particular President in promulgating an otherwise valid Proclamation. German Lopez, Vox, "Supreme Court finally condemns 1944 decision that allowed Japanese internment during World War II," 26 June 2018 The study’s founders and leaders helped promulgate the American Plan. Julia M. Klein,, "When America imprisoned ‘promiscuous’ women," 23 May 2018 If confirmed, Kavanaugh could be a critical vote on the Supreme Court as Trump seeks to repeal or ease an array of regulations promulgated under his predecessors., "Trump nominee Kavanaugh could usher in even more business-friendly era on Supreme Court," 10 July 2018 The Framers promulgated the Bill of Rights precisely to inhibit Congress from curtailing fundamental rights in the name of this or that exigency. WSJ, "Cellphone Site Data and Fourth Amendment," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'promulgate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of promulgate

1530, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for promulgate

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

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The first known use of promulgate was in 1530

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English Language Learners Definition of promulgate

: to make (an idea, belief, etc.) known to many people

: to make (a new law) known officially and publicly


transitive verb
prom·​ul·​gate | \ˈprä-məl-ˌgāt, prō-ˈməl- \
promulgated; promulgating

Legal Definition of promulgate 

1 : to make known or public

2 : to put (as a regulation) into effect

Other Words from promulgate

promulgation \ˌprä-​məl-​ˈgā-​shən, ˌprō-​ˌməl-​ \ noun
promulgator \ˈprä-​məl-​ˌgā-​tər, prō-​ˈməl-​ \ noun

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Comments on promulgate

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a nest or breeding place

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