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 Former Californians will propose a saltwater pipeline for Texas. Scott Burns, Dallas News, "Scott Burns: Why I’m taking a bow before unveiling my 2021 fearless financial forecasts," 31 Dec. 2020 At the state Legislature, Hunger Solutions and other organizations will propose expanding meals to all students at high-poverty schools, not just individual students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals. Kelly Smith, Star Tribune, "More Minnesotans visited food shelves in 2020 than any year on record — and the need is expected through 2021," 22 Dec. 2020 Selectmen later in the month will propose a capital budget to the finance board, which will determine whether to put it to referendum. Don Stacom,, "Simsbury foresees school enrollment turnaround: New apartments are bringing more families, bucking statewide trend," 16 Dec. 2020 The Eastern European country’s government will propose specific zones to Unesco in March, but a final decision from the international organization may not arrive until 2023. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "Ukraine Seeks to Designate Chernobyl as a Unesco World Heritage Site," 16 Dec. 2020 If a plan is rejected, the commission will propose another plan. Tyler Arnold, Washington Examiner, "Virginia General Assembly approves half of Northam's budget amendments," 10 Nov. 2020 Staff will propose a service plan at November’s meeting, which would require the board to re-vote on the budget in January. Mallory Moench,, "BART eyes layoffs and service cuts while juggling safety concerns amid a budget crisis," 16 Oct. 2020 Democrats propose to do away with the Constitution and impose a new one that none of us has agreed to live under. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "Revolution by Shenanigan," 28 Sep. 2020 But when coronavirus cases began rising, Jackson pulled the plug and instead worked within his surroundings to propose, arranging for family and friends to watch from Zoom on the couple's living room TV. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, "Here are some of the amazing things that happened on Zoom this year," 17 Dec. 2020

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

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Propose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on propose

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