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

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 With Phoenix at home, the Suns should still be consistent and confident at the foul line, which would propel them in this second game. Jeremy Cluff, The Arizona Republic, 3 May 2022 With spiritual leader Ricky Rubio earning a triple-double, the Jazz won a compelling victory that would propel them to winning the series. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Apr. 2022 The pitch, beyond an engine that can propel a boat much more quietly than a gas version, is about taking harmful emissions out of the equation. Jeff Kart, Forbes, 14 Apr. 2022 Shannon Bream, an anchor on Fox News, doesn’t get into the kinds of noise-making controversies that propel the careers of the conservative-leaning news channel’s hosts. Stephen Battagliostaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2022 Each gallon of gasoline comprises 98 metric tons of ancient sea life, compressed by geology and chemistry into a liquid that can propel a 2,000-pound car the distance that a man could walk in a day. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 16 Mar. 2022 It will be equipped with 1,200 hp twin MAN engines that will propel the vessel to a top speed of 30 knots. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 10 Mar. 2022 These are the experiences that propel me to try another hike on my own or rent the car myself or navigate the French immigration system or open a French bank account or figure out how to get a new couch up six flights of stairs. Sara Lieberman, Travel + Leisure, 1 Mar. 2022 Early investors in a Ponzi scheme get rewarded with mindbogglingly large dividends that propel them to tell others about the golden opportunity, which keeps new money flowing into the scam. Allison Morrow, CNN, 16 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near propel

prop boy



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Statistics for propel

Last Updated

11 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Propel.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for propel


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

More from Merriam-Webster on propel

Nglish: Translation of propel for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of propel for Arabic Speakers


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