propose

verb

pro·​pose prə-ˈpōz How to pronounce propose (audio)
proposed; proposing

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

1
a
: 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
2
a
: 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
proposer noun

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web My boyfriend is planning to propose to me on a trip in three weeks. Kwame Anthony Appiah, New York Times, 17 Jan. 2023 In December, Johnson left his decision to propose to his soon-to-be wife in the hands of the FIFA World Cup games. Mary Lebus, The Enquirer, 11 Jan. 2023 Though Harry and William had recently spent time together, the heir never mentioned his intentions to propose to Kate, Harry writes. Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY, 11 Jan. 2023 What happens when a young doctor accidentally gives the day off to the town's only Santa, the mayor wants to propose to his girlfriend and the go-to lawyer is scrambling to find the perfect Christmas present? Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, 13 Dec. 2022 Before Prince Harry decided to propose to Meghan Markle in November 2017, the royal heir had tried-and-true long-term relationship collateral to depend upon: a dog. Lauren Puckett-pope, ELLE, 8 Dec. 2022 Maybe Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles wasn’t the best choice of location for Jonah Hill’s fumbling You People character Ezra Cohen to ask his girlfriend’s parents for permission to propose to her. Larisha Paul, Rolling Stone, 5 Dec. 2022 Usman — who'd accepted Kim's proposal a few days before — to offer his own romantic gesture and to propose to Kim himself. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2022 In the new Amazon rom-com Something From Tiffany’s, Sampson stars as Ethan, a guy who’s about to propose to his longtime girlfriend and take the next step in their relationship. Vulture, 16 Nov. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French purposer, proposer, from Latin proponere (perfect indicative proposui) — more at propound

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near propose

Cite this Entry

“Propose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propose. Accessed 7 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

propose

verb
pro·​pose prə-ˈpōz How to pronounce propose (audio)
proposed; proposing
1
: to make a suggestion to be thought over and talked about : suggest
propose a new theory
2
: to make plans : intend
propose to buy a new house
3
: to suggest for filling a place or office
propose someone for membership
4
: to make an offer of marriage
proposer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on propose

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