propagate

verb
prop·​a·​gate | \ ˈprä-pə-ˌgāt How to pronounce propagate (audio) \
propagated; propagating

Definition of propagate

transitive verb

1 : to cause to continue or increase by sexual or asexual reproduction
2 : to pass along to offspring
3a : to cause to spread out and affect a greater number or greater area : extend
b : to foster growing knowledge of, familiarity with, or acceptance of (something, such as an idea or belief) : publicize
c : to transmit (something, such as sound or light) through a medium

intransitive verb

1 : to multiply sexually or asexually
3 : to travel through space or a material used of wave energy (such as light, sound, or radio waves)

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Other Words from propagate

propagative \ ˈprä-​pə-​ˌgā-​tiv How to pronounce propagate (audio) \ adjective
propagator \ ˈprä-​pə-​ˌgā-​tər How to pronounce propagate (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for propagate

Synonyms

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Did You Know?

The origins of propagate are firmly rooted in the field of horticulture. The word was borrowed into English in the late 16th century from Latin propagatus, the past participle of the verb propagare, which means "to set (onto a plant) a small shoot or twig cut for planting or grafting." Propagare, in turn, derives from propages, meaning "layer (of a plant), slip, offspring." It makes sense, therefore, that the earliest uses of propagate referred to facilitating the reproduction of a plant or animal. Nowadays, however, the meaning of propagate can extend to the "reproduction" of something intangible, such as an idea or belief. Incidentally, propaganda also comes to us from propagare, although it took a somewhat different route into English.

Examples of propagate in a Sentence

We are discovering new ways to propagate plants without seeds. He propagated the apple tree by grafting. The plants failed to propagate.
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Recent Examples on the Web Rototilling a bed, for example, will simply propagate this plant, meaning a bunch of small plants will sprout the following year. Tim Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "This herbicide is key to taming persistent, invasive lesser celandine," 2 May 2021 Needless to say, buyers can expect this news to propagate an immediate frenzy in the Raleigh housing market, as demand will undoubtedly soar in the coming months. Forbes, "The Covid-19 Pandemic Has Fueled A Crisis In The Housing Market," 27 Apr. 2021 Courts should promote justice – not propagate injustice. Joey Jackson, CNN, "Mohamed Noor’s sentence raises uncomfortable questions about race," 20 Apr. 2021 Rhizomatous varieties are easier to propagate than others, Jarrell says. oregonlive, "Here’s how to propagate your own indoor plants," 8 Apr. 2021 Think-tanks like the Instituto Millenium and the Instituto Mises Brasil propagate extreme free-market or libertarian views. Samanth Subramanian, Quartz, "Why have two long-dead Austrian economists become cult figures in Brazil?," 24 Mar. 2021 Nyiramilimo was cautiously challenging the revisionist view of Rusesabagina that the government has taken such pains to propagate. New York Times, "He Was the Hero of ‘Hotel Rwanda.’ Now He’s Accused of Terrorism.," 2 Mar. 2021 So when a mantis shrimp’s hammer smashes into a thumb or a clam or a crab’s face, any crack in its structure will propagate in a twist pattern, dissipating the energy throughout the material. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Mantis Shrimp Inspires a New Material—Made by Bacteria," 22 Feb. 2021 Notably, Fox News continues to inflame racial division and propagate an unstable political climate. Mike Freeman, USA Today, "NAACP to NFL: Don't 'fund Fox News' hatred, bigotry, lies and racism'," 18 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'propagate.' 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 propagate

1535, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for propagate

Latin propagatus, past participle of propagare to set slips, propagate, from propages slip, offspring, from pro- before + pangere to fasten — more at pro-, pact

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Time Traveler for propagate

Time Traveler

The first known use of propagate was in 1535

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Statistics for propagate

Last Updated

7 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Propagate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propagate. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for propagate

propagate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of propagate

formal : to make (something, such as an idea or belief) known to many people
technical : to produce (a new plant)

propagate

verb
prop·​a·​gate | \ ˈprä-pə-ˌgāt How to pronounce propagate (audio) \
propagated; propagating

Kids Definition of propagate

1 : to have or cause to have offspring : multiply You can propagate apple trees from seed.
2 : to cause (as an idea or belief) to spread out and affect a greater number or wider area The preacher traveled to propagate his faith.

propagate

verb
prop·​a·​gate | \ ˈpräp-ə-ˌgāt How to pronounce propagate (audio) \
propagated; propagating

Medical Definition of propagate

transitive verb

1 : to cause to continue or increase by sexual or asexual reproduction
2 : to cause to spread or to be transmitted

intransitive verb

: to multiply sexually or asexually

Other Words from propagate

propagable \ ˈpräp-​ə-​gə-​bəl How to pronounce propagate (audio) \ adjective
propagative \ -​ˌgāt-​iv How to pronounce propagate (audio) \ adjective

Comments on propagate

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