pro·​pose | \ prə-ˈpōz How to pronounce propose (audio) \
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 Utilities have proposed and states have approved 7 gigawatts to be installed by 2030. Wired, "Cheap at Last, Batteries Are Making a Solar Dream Come True," 2 Dec. 2019 There isn’t much data that can attest to whether platonic relationships at work help to narrow the gender pay gap or increase leadership roles for women, but stories of allyship do propose the idea. Brianna Holt, Quartz at Work, "Can friendships between men and women at work promote gender equality?," 25 Nov. 2019 The ring Ira is referring to (pictured below) was Diana's when Prince Charles proposed to her in 1981. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'Today' Star Hoda Kotb's Engagement Ring Is Worth Over $250,000, According to a Jewelry Expert," 25 Nov. 2019 To keep the signals from interfering with one another, researchers have proposed turning down the amount of noise allowed to leak from the 5G transmissions. Alexandra Witze, Scientific American, "New 5G Wireless Deal Threatens Accurate Weather Forecasts," 22 Nov. 2019 Federal officials in September proposed rules to require radon testing in one narrow situation: when housing authorities renovate a public housing development and switch the type of subsidy that pays the rent. Beth Nakamura, The Oregonian -, "The government urges private homeowners to test for cancer-causing radon gas. For low-income tenants of public housing, the government ignores its own advice.," 22 Nov. 2019 The idea dates to 1944, when postal inspector Robert Moon proposed adding a three-digit code to addresses; the first number referred to a region and the next two to a mail processing center. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "Why Do Mosquitoes Exist? Why Do Elephants and Donkeys Represent the GOP and the Democrats? And More Questions From Our Readers," 21 Nov. 2019 Blake proposed to Miranda in May 2010 during a romantic stroll through the woods near Miranda’s Oklahoma ranch. Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, "A Complete Timeline of Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert’s Marriage and Divorce," 13 Nov. 2019 The philosophers Justin Tosi and Brandon Warmke have proposed the useful phrase moral grandstanding to describe what happens when people use moral talk to enhance their prestige in a public forum. Jonathan Haidt, The Atlantic, "Why It Feels Like Everything Is Going Haywire," 12 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for propose

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for propose

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Propose.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for propose


How to pronounce propose (audio)

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 How to pronounce propose (audio) \
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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for propose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with propose

Spanish Central: Translation of propose

Nglish: Translation of propose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of propose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on propose

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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