self-pro·​pelled ˌself-prə-ˈpeld How to pronounce self-propelled (audio)
: containing within itself the means for its own propulsion
a self-propelled vehicle
: mounted on or fired from a moving vehicle
a self-propelled gun

Examples of self-propelled in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For a year and a half, the trolleys were self-propelled. Jenna Thompson, Kansas City Star, 12 Apr. 2024 Humphrey particularly recalls a wheelchair-ready van with a Detroit Lions logo on the side, a Mazda Miata, and the slickest available wheelchairs, both motorized and self-propelled. Detroit Free Press, 18 June 2023 While some purists complained, many critics found his writing so seductive and self-propelled that readers would instinctively know what was a quote or when a sentence came to an end. Steve Marble, Los Angeles Times, 13 June 2023

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

Word History

First Known Use

1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-propelled was in 1812

Dictionary Entries Near self-propelled

Cite this Entry

“Self-propelled.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: having within itself the means for its own movement

More from Merriam-Webster on self-propelled

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