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
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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
Gravitational waves are ripples in space-time that propagate outward from intensely violent and energetic processes in space.
The Alittihad’s editor also wrote that the U.A.E.-Saudi alliance is stronger than Qatar, which the paper said is propagating false reports of a rift between the two.
But the acrimonious session came to an abrupt end after Spicer began lambasting reporters for propagating a false report that Trump hasn't used a translation headset during the G-7.
Its subscription technology propagates content automatically onto multiple websites, as well as mobile apps and even for Internet of Things devices.
The fate of our world may depend on the effort of a single person who builds or propagates the machinery of freedom that makes the world safe for capitalism.
Angelonias were originally propagated vegetatively by cuttings or even division, but breeders have introduced several fine strains that are now grown from seed.
Karen Dale, who gardens at the Greiders’ original farm site (much of it now an alpaca ranch), has propagated Olympics from a cluster that remains on the property.
Bon Appétit and its staffers are as guilty as anyone in propagating food-as-selfie culture, and the spread of photos is proof of peak levels of self-awareness.
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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