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 In the past, Jack, encouraged by the advice from his old army lieutenant, is ready to propose to Rebecca. Amanda Ostuni,, "This Is Us recap: Miguel and the Pearsons confront complicated feeling," 7 Apr. 2021 The council unanimously approved all the appointments to the group, which will propose amendments to the charter that would then be voted on by Hartford residents. Rebecca Lurye,, "Hartford begins charter reform process with appointments to revision commission," 7 Apr. 2021 Senate Republicans also propose barring local clerks from providing prepaid postage on return envelopes for absentee ballots, and prohibiting the secretary of state from funding prepaid postage. Clara Hendrickson, Detroit Free Press, "GOP lawmakers say their election bills will make it easier to vote. A fact check," 2 Apr. 2021 Princess Diana's magnificent ring was later used by her son, Prince William, to propose to Kate Middleton in 2010. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, "Kristen Stewart Wears Princess Diana's Iconic Engagement Ring in New Photo From Spencer," 25 Mar. 2021 The president is planning to propose a multipart economic package in the coming weeks that could cost as much as $3 trillion, according to people familiar with the plan. Andrew Restuccia, WSJ, "White House to Outline Top-Line Spending Priorities Next Week," 23 Mar. 2021 One day after the surprising defeat of Sen. Del Marsh’s bill to allow voters to decide whether to have a lottery and casinos in Alabama, another senator is planning to propose a lottery only. Mike Cason |, al, "Alabama senator to propose lottery, but not casinos," 10 Mar. 2021 Drafting the law is just the first of many steps: a member state needs to propose it to the ICC, at which point, 50% of ICC states have to approve it. Mélissa Godin, Time, "Lawyers Are Working to Put 'Ecocide' on Par with War Crimes. Could an International Law Hold Major Polluters to Account?," 19 Feb. 2021 Republicans also propose shrinking the size of the payment for people making $40,000 a year or more and phasing them out when income reaches $50,000. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Biden and gang of 10 Republicans begin search for murky 'sweet spot' on coronavirus relief," 1 Feb. 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

9 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Propose.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 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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