pro·​pul·​sive prə-ˈpəl-siv How to pronounce propulsive (audio)
: tending or having power to propel
propulsive force

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But the cast, while extremely likable, were not super propulsive. Dalton Ross,, 18 May 2023 Simon’s score is a delight, propulsive and charming with a swishing jazz number and a lullaby ripped from Brahms. David Allen, New York Times, 5 May 2023 This completes a big test of the spacecraft and its propulsive service module, which was built by the European Space Agency. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, 6 Dec. 2022 The direct, propulsive landing profiled above—most notably used by SpaceX’s Starship, which is currently being built and tested in South Texas—could provide a relatively safe alternative. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, 8 May 2023 His books tend to include propulsive plots, often everyday heroes, true love and happy endings, though his childhood promised nothing of the sort. Karen Heller, Washington Post, 3 May 2023 Jamal’s current trio features his longtime bassist James Cammack and top New Orleans drummer Idris Muhammad, whose propulsive playing provides a fluid yet flexible foundation for ballads and up-tempo numbers alike. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Apr. 2023 Instead, you are left with high risk for public recrimination, and little support in the fallout as your claims and safety take a backseat to a propulsive entertainment industry and an overwhelming news cycle, eager to move on to the next scandal. Shamira Ibrahim,, 6 Apr. 2023 The first-person narration is propulsive, driven by rage and loathing, and the portrait of the city as racially virulent is especially compelling, given the myth of Southern California as a land of opportunity. Boris Kachka, Los Angeles Times, 13 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'propulsive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin prōpulsus, past participle of prōpellere "to push or thrust forward, compel to go onward" + -ive — more at propel

First Known Use

1648, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of propulsive was in 1648

Dictionary Entries Near propulsive

Cite this Entry

“Propulsive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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