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 President Joe Biden plans to propose doubling the tax wealthy people pay on their capital gains. Stephanie Leiser, The Conversation, "What’s a capital gain and how is it taxed?," 28 Apr. 2021 White House economic advisor Brian Deese on Monday defended one of the tax increases that Biden plans to propose — an increase in the capital gains tax rate for people earning more than $1 million a year. Los Angeles Times, "Democrats aim for paid family leave and aid well beyond Biden’s expected plan," 27 Apr. 2021 The committee might propose additional counseling to doctors and patients on what to watch for and how to treat side effects or recommend the vaccine’s use be narrowed while surveillance continues. Scott Gottlieb, WSJ, "Drug Safety Is FDA’s Job, Not CDC’s," 18 Apr. 2021 With legal hurdles out of the way, developers can propose high-density projects along the new trolley line connecting Old Town to La Jolla, which is expected to begin operating by the end of the year. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Court ruling clears way for high-rise housing along new Morena Boulevard trolley line," 15 Apr. 2021 In a paper published in Scientific Reports, Aline Eid and her colleagues at the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta, propose a better idea. The Economist, "Energy harvesting 5G phone networks could provide power as well as communications," 14 Apr. 2021 The mayor plans to propose the lease agreement to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Trisha Thadani, San Francisco Chronicle, "Mayor Breed wants to turn an empty San Francisco office into a drug sobering center," 13 Apr. 2021 Senators could propose adding casinos and sports betting to the legislation. Mike Cason |, al, "Lottery bill could return to Alabama Senate today," 13 Apr. 2021 The team will propose boundaries for Congress and Legislature, but legislators could still come up with their own gerrymander. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Robert Gehrke: Utah’s first independent redistricting commission kicks off this week, but will its work matter?," 11 Apr. 2021

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

3 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Propose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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 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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