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 August 2018 the administration proposed an eight-year freeze of the greenhouse gas standards. Oliver Milman, Scientific American, "The Silenced: Meet the Climate Whistle-Blowers Muzzled by the Trump Administration," 17 Sep. 2019 The Trump administration also proposed a new enforcement policy that would require e-cigarette makers to take their flavored products off the market. Jen Christensen, CNN, "New York state bans most flavors of e-cigarettes," 17 Sep. 2019 No one is proposing a middle/high-school switch this time. Leslie Postal,, "Orange County high school start times: District offers 3 options for later bells," 16 Sep. 2019 Warren also proposes holding the Supreme Court to a code of conduct and establishing a new U.S. Office of Public Integrity to strengthen ethics enforcement. Zak Hudak, CBS News, "Elizabeth Warren uses Trump family to illustrate need for anti-corruption plan," 16 Sep. 2019 San Francisco’s proposed Commitment to Success program would be similar to those run out of Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall, where the court requires youths to complete a series of classes and counseling sessions before release. Joaquin Palomino,, "SF plans to close juvenile hall, but a new proposal would put more youths there," 16 Sep. 2019 The film doesn’t propose reasons for the genocide but rather re-creates the atmosphere of mindless hatred leading up to it. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Our Lady of the Nile' ('Notre-Dame du Nil'): Film Review | TIFF 2019," 14 Sep. 2019 In an effort to crack down on tampering, the NBA sent a memo to teams about improving compliance through proposed rules changes, according to The Athletic's Shams Charania. Emily Caron,, "Report: NBA Proposes Several Rules Changes in Attempt to Prevent Tampering," 14 Sep. 2019 In what many consider to be one of the most radical policies in the 2020 election, Yang is proposing the implementation of universal income. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Andrew Yang's 2020 Dark-Horse Presidential Platform," 12 Sep. 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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Statistics for propose

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for propose

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on propose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with propose

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for propose

Spanish Central: Translation of propose

Nglish: Translation of propose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of propose for Arabic Speakers

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