late 16c. variant of Middle English proponen "to put forward" (late 14c.), from Latin proponere "put forth, set forth, lay out, display, expose to view," figuratively "set before the mind; resolve; intend, design," from pro- "before" (see pro-) + ponere "to put" (see position (n.)). Perhaps influenced in form by compound, expound. Related: Propounded; propounding.