verb (used with object), propelled, propelling.
to drive, or cause to move, forward or onward: to propel a boat by rowing.
to impel or urge onward: Urgent need of money propelled him to take a job.

1400–50; late Middle English propellen to expel < Latin prōpellere to drive forward, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + pellere to drive

unpropelled, adjective

1, 2. push, prod. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
propel (prəˈpɛl)
vb , -pels, -pelling, -pelled
(tr) to impel, drive, or cause to move forwards
[C15: from Latin prōpellere to drive onwards, from pro-1 + pellere to drive]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1440, "to drive away, expel," from L. propellere "push forward," from pro- "forward" + pellere "to push, drive." Meaning "to drive onward, cause to move forward" is from 1658. Propellant "fuel for a rocket engine" is from 1919. Propeller in mechanical sense is first attested 1809, of ships; of flying
machines (in a broad, theoretical sense) 1842, in the specific modern sense 1853; shortened form prop is recorded from 1914.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
New levels of philanthropic investments can propel them beyond the subsistence
  support that has been far too customary.
The saucer will hover and propel itself using electrodes that cover its surface
  to ionize the surrounding air into plasma.
Laborers pushed vertical winches to propel elevators that carried animal cages
  up to the arena.
Once ignited, combustion would propel the torpedo to its target, where it might
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