prop·​a·​ga·​tion | \ ˌprä-pə-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce propagation (audio) \

Definition of propagation

: the act or action of propagating: such as
a : increase (as of a kind of organism) in numbers
b : the spreading of something (such as a belief) abroad or into new regions
c : enlargement or extension (as of a crack) in a solid body

Examples of propagation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The team used the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France, to analyze seven M. carinatus eggs via a process called propagation phase contrast. Daisy Hernandez, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Reconstruct Embryonic Dinosaur Skulls in Beautiful Clarity," 13 Apr. 2020 The cracks between paving stones or driveway gravel are favorite propagation ranges. Margaret Roach, New York Times, "Shopping Your Garden," 28 Apr. 2020 American officials said Chinese agencies are most likely embracing covert propagation of disinformation in its place. Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times, "Chinese Agents Helped Spread Messages That Sowed Virus Panic in U.S., Officials Say," 22 Apr. 2020 Local media reports continue to portray banlieues as hotspots for incivility and the propagation of the coronavirus. Colette Davidson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Coronavirus lockdown stirs can-do spirit in France’s poor suburbs," 15 Apr. 2020 The benefit of these masks is that the cloud deflection and impact against the mask dissipate energy and thus can reduce the range of propagation of the cloud. USA Today, "Coronavirus might spread much farther than 6 feet in the air. CDC says wear a mask in public.," 3 Apr. 2020 This conclusion is based on mathematical modeling of the fundamental physics of wave propagation done by me, together with my NIH colleagues Sinisa Pajevic and Peter Basser. R. Douglas Fields, Scientific American, "The Brain Learns in Unexpected Ways," 12 Mar. 2020 The unique botany of ferns is quite complex, yet very clearly explained here, including the numerous and diverse means of propagation. Sally Peterson, oregonlive, "Garden book review: ’The Complete Book of Ferns’," 25 Feb. 2020 People tend to think of gossip as synonymous with malicious rumors, put-downs or the breathless propagation of a tabloid scoop. Sophia Gottfried, Time, "The Science Behind Why People Gossip—And When It Can Be a Good Thing," 25 Sep. 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for propagation

Time Traveler

The first known use of propagation was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

6 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Propagation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for propagation


prop·​a·​ga·​tion | \ ˌprä-pə-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce propagation (audio) \

Kids Definition of propagation

: the act or process of causing to multiply or spread out the propagation of ideas


prop·​a·​ga·​tion | \ ˌpräp-ə-ˈgā-shən How to pronounce propagation (audio) \

Medical Definition of propagation

: the act or action of propagating: as
a : increase (as of a kind of organism) in numbers propagation of a pure culture of bacteria
b : the spreading or transmission of something propagation of a nerve impulse

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