pro·​pel prə-ˈpel How to pronounce propel (audio)
propelled; propelling

transitive verb

: to drive forward or onward by or as if by means of a force that imparts motion

Examples of propel in a Sentence

He grabbed him and propelled him through the door. The train is propelled by steam.
Recent Examples on the Web In its second week, it was watched for 5.3 million hours, propelling it to second place in the streamer’s non-English language films list for the period June 24-30. Patrick Frater, Variety, 3 July 2024 Curry and Thompson formed the greatest shooting backcourt in NBA history, helping propel the Warriors to four championships between 2015 and 2022. Joseph Dycus, The Mercury News, 2 July 2024 The Bronx native led the Huskies on an unforgettable run to the 2011 national championship, which began with five wins in five days in the Big East tournament, propelling UConn from bubble team to No. 3 seed in the NCAAs. Kels Dayton, Hartford Courant, 2 July 2024 The most recent big technological advancement propelling economic growth is artificial intelligence. Washington Post, 1 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for propel 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'propel.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English propellen "to drive away, expel," borrowed from Latin prōpellere "to push or thrust forward, compel to go onward," from prō- "before, in front" + pellere "to beat against, push, strike, rouse, expel" — more at pro- entry 2, pulse entry 1

First Known Use

1558, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of propel was in 1558

Dictionary Entries Near propel

Cite this Entry

“Propel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


pro·​pel prə-ˈpel How to pronounce propel (audio)
propelled; propelling
: to push or drive usually forward or onward
a bicycle is propelled by pedals
propelled by the crowd

More from Merriam-Webster on propel

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