follow Dictionary.com

It’s about time. We are now on Instagram!

propel

[pruh-pel] /prəˈpɛl/
verb (used with object), propelled, propelling.
1.
to drive, or cause to move, forward or onward:
to propel a boat by rowing.
2.
to impel or urge onward:
Urgent need of money propelled him to take a job.
Origin
late Middle English
1400-1450
1400-50; late Middle English propellen to expel < Latin prōpellere to drive forward, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + pellere to drive
Related forms
unpropelled, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. push, prod.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for propel
  • 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 explode.
  • Their duty is to propel as well as regulate the desired immersion.
  • But it, too, helps propel the genes of the successful into future generations.
  • Solar sails use photons from the sun to propel spacecraft at high speeds.
  • Recapture energy typically lost as heat during braking and use it to propel the vehicle.
  • It then hops to its destination by directing some of the gas to sideways-facing thrusters, to propel itself backwards or forwards.
  • These swirling vortices carry enough momentum to propel the insect at high speed.
British Dictionary definitions for propel

propel

/prəˈpɛl/
verb -pels, -pelling, -pelled
1.
(transitive) to impel, drive, or cause to move forwards
Word Origin
C15: from Latin prōpellere to drive onwards, from pro-1 + pellere to drive
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for propel
v.

mid-15c., "to drive away, expel," from Latin propellere "push forward, drive forward, drive forth; move, impel," from pro- "forward" (see pro-) + pellere "to push, drive" (see pulse (n.1)). Meaning "to drive onward, cause to move forward" is from 1650s. Related: Propelled; propelling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for propel

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for propel

10
13
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with propel