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 But the resignation of those representing a media apparatus that propagated them was. Washington Post, "The resignations of several Iranian state journalists deal blow to Tehran’s ability to control narrative," 14 Jan. 2020 There is the research into the laws that propagate this violence, allowing domestic abusers to possess firearms and 18-year-olds to purchase weapons of war. Allegra Kirkland, Teen Vogue, "Teen Vogue's 10 Most Powerful Stories About Gun Violence This Decade," 3 Jan. 2020 His slipperiness has been given a sinister twist by his chief adviser, Dominic Cummings, a Machiavellian ideologue who propagated the lie that Brexit would generate £350m ($460m) a week for the NHS. The Economist, "Bagehot Truth has been the first casualty of Britain’s election," 5 Dec. 2019 Indeed, Gizmodo found in July that Cloudflare works with 56 groups that propagate online hate. Hanna Kozlowska, Quartz, "The protective shield on a site known for harboring mass murderers has been lowered," 5 Aug. 2019 Maintain good air circulation to keep the moving air not becoming stagnant where most diseases are propagated. Stan Davidson, sun-sentinel.com, "Tips to control houseplant pests and diseases," 7 Nov. 2019 However, a lot of the vaccine information propagated across social media in the United States has been inaccurate or misleading. Ana Santos Rutschman, The Conversation, "Malicious bots and trolls spread vaccine misinformation – now social media companies are fighting back," 18 Sep. 2019 By the early 1800s most people in Ireland were planting just one potato variety, propagating it from shoots. Kevin Begos, Smithsonian, "The Quest to Grow the First Great American Wine Grape," 6 June 2018 To pull this off, Clinton partisans needed government officials willing to entertain wild claims and media willing to propagate them. Kimberley A. Strassel, WSJ, "Russia, the NRA and Fake News," 22 Mar. 2018

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

17 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Propagate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propagating. Accessed 24 January 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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