pro·pose | \prə-ˈpōz \
proposed; proposing

Definition of propose 

intransitive verb

1 : to form or put forward a plan or intention man proposes, but God disposes

2 obsolete : to engage in talk or discussion

3 : to make an offer of marriage

transitive verb

1a : to set before the mind (as for discussion, imitation, or action) propose a plan for settling the dispute

b : to set before someone and especially oneself as an aim or intent proposed to spend the summer in Italy

2a : to set forth for acceptance or rejection propose terms for peace propose a topic for debate

b : to recommend to fill a place or vacancy : nominate propose them for membership

c : to offer as a toast propose the happiness of the couple

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from propose

proposer noun

Examples of propose in a Sentence

The scientists proposed a new theory. The mayor proposed a plan for a new bridge. Several senators have proposed raising the tax. I propose that we revise the bylaws. They propose to buy a new house. How do you propose solving this problem? The chairman proposed the young executive as a candidate for promotion.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

One scenario proposes building additions at all overcrowded schools. Libby Solomon,, "Firm presents 7 scenarios to address Balto. Co. high school overcrowding; all include new Towson High," 13 July 2018 The nurses proposed a staffing grid, the station reported. The Web Staff,, "Osceola nurses rally for staffing changes: report," 13 July 2018 The bill proposed in Pennsylvania, however, would eliminate Philadelphia’s tax by banning any levy on food, beverages, or food and beverage containers. Laura Mccrystal,, "California banned new soda taxes. Could it happen in Pennsylvania?," 12 July 2018 The IceCube collaboration has proposed an upgrade that stands to improve sensitivity by an order of magnitude, and similar instruments are planned for deployment in the Mediterranean Sea and Lake Baikal, Siberia. Mark Bowen, Scientific American, "Neutrinos on Ice: Astronomers' Long Hunt for Source of Extragalactic "Ghost Particles" Pays Off," 12 July 2018 Uncomfortable about the incident, Areum proposes to leave the job, but Bongwan, who's taken a shine to her, convinces her to stay. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Hong Sang-soo and Kim Min-hee's real-life affair yields a trio of films about infidelity," 12 July 2018 The panel proposed two pieces of unprecedented legislation that won congressional approval. Alice George, Smithsonian, "For 50 Years, the Special Olympics Has Given Marginalized Superstars Center Stage," 10 July 2018 For this reason, Roscosmos has also proposed developing the Soyuz 5 rocket. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Russian editor: Our space program is entering the “Dark Ages”," 9 July 2018 At the summit, Polish President Andrzej Duda met with Mr. Trump to propose posting more U.S. soldiers in Poland, Mr. Duda’s office said. Robert Wall, WSJ, "Trump Fuels Anxiety in Europe Over Security," 13 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'propose.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of propose

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

History and Etymology for propose

Middle English, from Anglo-French purposer, proposer, from Latin proponere (perfect indicative proposui) — more at propound

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about propose

Phrases Related to propose

propose a toast

propose marriage

Statistics for propose

Last Updated

10 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for propose

The first known use of propose was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for propose



English Language Learners Definition of propose

: to suggest (something, such as a plan or theory) to a person or group of people to consider

: to plan or intend to do (something)

: to suggest (someone) for a job, position, office, etc.


pro·pose | \prə-ˈpōz \
proposed; proposing

Kids Definition of propose

1 : to make a suggestion to be thought over and talked about : suggest

2 : to make plans : intend How do you propose to pay for a new bike?

3 : to make an offer of marriage

4 : to suggest (someone) for filling a place or position I proposed my teacher for the award.

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on propose

What made you want to look up propose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!