Definition of propagate
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 : extendb : to foster growing knowledge of, familiarity with, or acceptance of (something, such as an idea or belief) : publicizec : to transmit (something, such as sound or light) through a medium
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)
propagativeplay \-ˌgā-tiv\ adjective
propagatorplay \-ˌgā-tər\ noun
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.
Recent Examples of propagate from the Web
Lantanas are propagated from short stem cuttings 2 to 3 inches long.
Painted leaf, like whitetop, grows only about two or three feet tall and is best propagated from seeds, which are small and resemble tomato seeds.
Much of the native habitat of carnivorous plants is under threat; reputable nurseries propagate without harming wild populations.
Ever since teenagers were invented, back in the days of Elvis, they’ve been perceived as a kind of (self-propagating) Other.
A new study reveals the mathematics underlying this phenomenon, modeling how information overload can erode an individual's ability to distinguish high-quality information from its opposite, causing falsehoods to propagate.
Even if some of the bacteria in a probiotic managed to survive and propagate in the intestine, there would likely be far too few of them to dramatically alter the overall composition of one's internal ecosystem.
Smart risk-taking was likely prioritized in our genetics from the hunter-gatherer era, when those with enough chutzpah to explore new territories, and so food sources, were likeliest to survive and propagate.
Live-streaming technology has been around since the 1990s, but the explosion the of internet and social media has propagated it to all corners of the world, bringing people closer to a broad spectrum of experiences.
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.
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.
PROPAGATE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of propagate for English Language Learners
: to make (something, such as an idea or belief) known to many people
: to produce (a new plant)
PROPAGATE Defined for Kids
Definition of propagate for Students
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.
Medical Definition of propagate
transitive verb: 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
Seen and Heard
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