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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Instead, Blum proposes to end all consideration of race in admissions. Yuvraj Joshi, Teen Vogue, "Why the Affirmative Action Case Against Harvard Isn’t Actually About Fair Treatment for Minority Students," 16 Oct. 2018 Green House’ proposes to utilize the by-products of energy production to power a massive greenhouse on top of the building—the harvest to supply local restaurants with fresh produce. Max Maeckler, Vogue, "Bjarke Ingels’s Serpentine Pavilion Is on a World Tour: First Stop, Toronto," 24 Sep. 2018 Spearheaded by Senator Cathleen Galgiani, the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act (officially dubbed SB 1249) proposes a ban on any cosmetics that are tested on animals. Macaela Mackenzie, Allure, "California Passes Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act to Ban the Sale of Animal-Tested Beauty Products [Updated]," 5 Sep. 2018 The document proposes keeping Britain and the EU in a free market for goods, with a more distant relationship for services. Washington Post, "Trump says May’s Brexit plan would kill UK-US trade deal," 12 July 2018 The Republican candidate has accepted debate invitations from both Fox News, which has a larger national audience than CNN, and from The Chronicle and KCRA-TV in Sacramento, as part of a five-debate series Cox is proposing. Joe Garofoli,, "Gavin Newsom agrees to one debate with John Cox in CA governor race — on CNN," 12 July 2018 Supporters of the measure, proposed by Democratic state Sens. Anna North, Vox, "Nevada just got rid of its “tampon tax”," 7 Nov. 2018 Turin, who also happens to be one of the world’s leading perfume experts, was inspired by a vibrational theory of smell first proposed by chemist Malcolm Dyson in 1938. Tim Folger, Discover Magazine, "How Quantum Mechanics Lets Us See, Smell and Touch," 24 Oct. 2018 Planet Nine’ was first proposed by a pair of astronomers in 2016 who were looking at the orbits of distant solar system bodies. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Find Dwarf Planet 'The Goblin' Lurking in the Outer Solar System," 2 Oct. 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.

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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

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Statistics for propose

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for propose

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on propose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with propose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for propose

Spanish Central: Translation of propose

Nglish: Translation of propose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of propose for Arabic Speakers

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