pro·​pel·​ler | \ prə-ˈpe-lər \
variants: or less commonly propellor

Definition of propeller

: one that propels especially : a device that consists of a central hub with radiating blades placed and twisted so that each forms part of a helical surface and that is used to propel a vehicle (such as a ship or airplane)

Examples of propeller in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

With neither propellers nor jets, the airplane gets its thrust by applying a strong electric field to the air. Malcolm Ritter, The Seattle Times, "Experimental plane flies silently, may lead to quiet drones," 21 Nov. 2018 The electric power system also allows the helicopter to lose its large central blade and tail rotors while gaining a drone-like configuration of four arms that end with two counter-rotating propellers. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Workhorse brings an electric pickup truck, helicopter to Manhattan," 19 Aug. 2018 Undertaken in the final months of a cruise ship's construction, sea trials are designed to test the vessel's engines, steering, maneuverability, safety systems, communications, propeller shafts and navigation systems. Gene Sloan, USA TODAY, "Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas, new world's largest cruise ship, passes sea trials," 21 Feb. 2018 Currently, the Navy stops boats by a plastic rope with a pneumatic launcher, designed to tangle in the boat’s propeller, which can be risky and inefficient. Laura Yan, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Navy Is Creating a Military Slime," 18 Aug. 2018 There should be a way things should fly without having propellers and (jet) turbines. Malcolm Ritter, The Seattle Times, "Experimental plane flies silently, may lead to quiet drones," 21 Nov. 2018 Johnson’s show highlighted the inherent design in everyday objects, such as an airplane propeller, a perfume bottle, a ball bearing and so on. Alex Beam, WSJ, "‘The Man in the Glass House’ Review: Throwing Stones at Philip Johnson," 2 Nov. 2018 The airport handles only a few small propeller passenger planes each day. Jake Maxwell Watts, WSJ, "Power Play: Tiny East Timor Bets Big on Oil and Gas," 13 Oct. 2018 Today the ship is visible just off the coast of Enubuj island, upside down in shallow water, her propellers resting above the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "How the U.S. Is Recovering Oil from a Nuked Warship," 17 Sep. 2018

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

1780, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for propeller

Last Updated

24 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for propeller

The first known use of propeller was in 1780

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More Definitions for propeller



English Language Learners Definition of propeller

: a device with two or more blades that turn quickly and cause a ship or aircraft to move


pro·​pel·​ler | \ prə-ˈpe-lər \

Kids Definition of propeller

: a device having a hub fitted with blades that is made to turn rapidly by an engine and that causes a ship, power boat, or airplane to move

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More from Merriam-Webster on propeller

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with propeller

Spanish Central: Translation of propeller

Nglish: Translation of propeller for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about propeller

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