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

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 The candidates propose very different solutions for the problems the city faces. Justin Raystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2022 Some estimates propose that the average person will spend over 90,000 hours at work during their lifetime. Peter Weedfald, Forbes, 6 May 2022 Districts propose to spend another $71.5 million on academic interventionists, whose role is similar to tutors, though in some cases those teachers are already working at schools. Koby Levin And Isabel Lohman, Detroit Free Press, 2 May 2022 Management companies often propose that association funds be deposited in the company’s bank trust account and the manager signs association checks. Kelly G. Richardson, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Apr. 2022 The plans propose tens of billions of dollars in spending in the coming years to reduce carbon emissions, partly in response to state and federal mandates, and to replace aging infrastructure that has become more prone to failure. Katherine Blunt, WSJ, 17 Apr. 2022 Some propose a more radical solution: Stop thinking of these cozy, communal big screens as being made simply for movies. Brian Raftery,, 31 Mar. 2022 Jiang and his colleagues propose sending their message from either the Allen Telescope Array in northern California or the Five-Hundred-Meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST) in China. Daniel Oberhaus, Scientific American, 30 Mar. 2022 The Colts and Eagles propose to guarantee one possession for both teams. Ben Volin,, 26 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About propose

Time Traveler for propose

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near propose



propose a toast

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for propose

Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Propose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for propose


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on propose

Nglish: Translation of propose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of propose for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Eponyms: Words Named After People

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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