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

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 If propagating plants already in your yard, such as birds of paradise, use a small handsaw or sharp knife to cut at the base of the plant. Jasmin Perez, Sunset Magazine, "3 Easy Way to Freshen Up Your Yard, Without Spending Money," 5 May 2020 The team is now propagating the grape tissue cells and clearing them of pathogens. Yadid Levy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Why Wines From Israel’s Negev Desert May Represent the Future of Viticulture," 16 Apr. 2020 Memes and other eye-catching visuals can also help propagate the idea that vaccines are unnecessary or harmful, without any reference to scientific or medical data. Ana Santos Rutschman, The Conversation, "Malicious bots and trolls spread vaccine misinformation – now social media companies are fighting back," 18 Sep. 2019 If the rainwater did fracture layers of rock, starting at the surface and reaching rocks near the magma, this should have produced a downwardly propagating wave of seismicity. Robin George Andrews, New York Times, "Did Heavy Rain Make Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Erupt?," 22 Apr. 2020 Similarly, British celebrities such as singer M.I.A. and reality show star Calum Best also are among those propagating unfounded connections between the 5G roll out in Wuhan, China, and the origination of the virus. Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Cellphone towers attacked as conspiracy theory connecting 5G and coronavirus gains steam," 6 Apr. 2020 But even these measures were never going to be enough if the virus kept propagating among health-care workers and facilities. Atul Gawande, The New Yorker, "Keeping the Coronavirus from Infecting Health-Care Workers," 21 Mar. 2020 Internet routers running the Tomato alternative firmware are under active attack by a self-propagating exploit that searches for devices using default credentials. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Internet routers running Tomato are under attack by notorious crime gang," 21 Jan. 2020 Therefore, this article is provided to correct misinformation being propagated. al, "Methodist split: conservative event organizers respond to critics," 21 Feb. 2020

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

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Propagate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propagate. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for propagate

propagate

verb
How to pronounce propagate (audio)

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 propagable (audio) \ adjective
propagative \ -​ˌgāt-​iv How to pronounce propagative (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on propagate

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