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 The Pearl Harbor shooting came just days before a ceremony to remember those who perished in the Japanese bombing 78 years ago that propelled the U.S. into World War II. Arkansas Online, "Pearl Harbor shooting unfolded in 23 seconds in packed area," 6 Dec. 2019 The Pearl Harbor shooting came just days before a ceremony to remember those who perished in the Japanese bombing 78 years ago that propelled the US into World War II., "Pearl Harbor gunman was unhappy with commanders, military official says - The Boston Globe," 6 Dec. 2019 The shipyard is across the harbor from the Pearl Harbor National Memorial, which on Saturday will mark the 78th anniversary of the Japanese attack that propelled the U.S. into World War II., "Sailor kills 2 in shooting at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard before taking own life, officials say," 4 Dec. 2019 First, all-out glamor in silver Gucci, a gown that has propelled me into a fervent hunt for a New Year's Eve dress with long, sequinned sleeves. Emily Dixon, Marie Claire, "Tracee Ellis Ross Shut Down the Fashion Awards in Five Astonishing Looks," 3 Dec. 2019 Nick Foles ended his first three drives with turnovers that Tampa Bay turned into touchdowns, costly mistakes that propelled the Buccaneers to a 28-11 victory over the Jaguars on Sunday. Mark Long,, "Bucs turn Nick Foles’ turnovers in touchdowns, earn 28-11 victory over Jaguars," 1 Dec. 2019 Because of Scarlett's clutch stop to preserve the game, the Texans got the football back and managed to pull out a 20-17 victory that propelled them into first place in the AFC South division. Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle, "Texans' Brennan Scarlett reflects on pivotal tackle," 25 Nov. 2019 But the same demographics that propelled Sun City’s rise now pose an existential challenge to this suburb as baby boomers age. Fox News, "Baby boomers may put 'tidal wave' of 21M homes on market -- but who will buy them?," 24 Nov. 2019 Quarterback Brian Boston had a strong performance with two long runs that propelled the Gators to the championship and a five-point victory. Alex Kushel,, "West Boynton Football League crowns Super Bowl champions," 22 Nov. 2019

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, from Latin propellere, from pro- before + pellere to drive — more at felt

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Time Traveler for propel

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The first known use of propel was in 1558

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Statistics for propel

Last Updated

9 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Propel.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 14 December 2019.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on propel

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for propel

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with propel

Spanish Central: Translation of propel

Nglish: Translation of propel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of propel for Arabic Speakers

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to assail by words or arguments

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