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

Definition of propel

transitive verb

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

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Synonyms for propel


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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 Foxconn just might be one of the players that can help propel that dream. Kathleen Gallagher, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Kathleen Gallagher: Foxconn complex could pay off - but in a different way than the company promised," 10 Nov. 2020 Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has urged lawmakers to inject another round of federal stimulus, such as supplementary unemployment benefits and more money for small businesses, into the economy to help propel the recovery. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "Federal Reserve leaves interest rates unchanged," 5 Nov. 2020 The worry gripping Facebook and Twitter: False or misleading social media posts questioning the integrity of the election process could help propel the country into tumult or even civil unrest. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Donald Trump declarations of victory and accusations of stealing the election test Facebook and Twitter," 4 Nov. 2020 In 2016, Trump carried the county by 4 percentage points, which helped propel him to a win. Arkansas Online, "EXPLAINING RACE CALLS: Presidential race too early to call," 4 Nov. 2020 McConnell hopes that legacy will help propel him to victory Tuesday. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Pumped-up Woodford County crowd cheers Mitch McConnell at his final 2020 campaign rally," 2 Nov. 2020 Selvage would help put the game away with two more touchdowns in the second half to help propel New Hope (4-3) to the win. Reports, al, "Huntsville Roundup: Athens rolls to win over Buckhorn; Bob Jones cruises," 9 Oct. 2020 The Raptor Vacuum engine is specifically optimized to help propel SpaceX's Starship rocket through the vacuum of space. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "In 15 Seconds, Witness the Sheer Power of SpaceX's Hulking Raptor Engine," 28 Sep. 2020 State officials are hopeful that improved COVID-19 testing turnaround times will help propel the downward trend in cases. Aidin Vaziri,, "Bay Area’s coronavirus numbers stabilize as U.S. death toll surpasses 200,000," 22 Sep. 2020

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

1558, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for propel

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

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Time Traveler for propel

Time Traveler

The first known use of propel was in 1558

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Statistics for propel

Last Updated

18 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Propel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for propel


How to pronounce propel (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of propel

: to push or drive (someone or something) forward or in a particular direction


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

Kids Definition of propel

: to push or cause to move usually forward or onward

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