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[pruh-puhl-shuh n] /prəˈpʌl ʃən/
the act or process of propelling.
the state of being propelled.
a means of propelling; propelling force, impulse, etc.
Origin of propulsion
1605-15; < Latin prōpuls(us) (past participle of prōpellere to propel) + -ion
Related forms
[pruh-puhl-siv] /prəˈpʌl sɪv/ (Show IPA),
propulsory, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for propulsion
  • But hulls during those propulsion revolutions remained essentially the same.
  • The trouble is that having two propulsion systems doubles the engine weight.
  • For years big ship propulsion had a standard configuration: a propeller in the rear with a rudder behind it to steer.
  • They were not dependent upon the wind for propulsion.
  • In fact, this frictionless propulsion could have any number of uses.
  • Electric vehicles will do more than revolutionize automotive propulsion.
  • He has now turned his attention to another pressing requirement of the space industry: better propulsion.
  • Their craft employs thin-film solar power generation and photon propulsion.
  • Electricity really is the ideal form of propulsion for the automobile because it is clean and quiet.
  • Hence all the effort that has gone into developing low-cost means of orbital propulsion.
British Dictionary definitions for propulsion


the act of propelling or the state of being propelled
a propelling force
Derived Forms
propulsive (prəˈpʌlsɪv), propulsory, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin prōpellere to propel
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
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Word Origin and History for propulsion

1610s, "expulsion," noun of action formed from propuls-, past participle stem of Latin propellere "to propel" (see propel). Meaning "act of driving forward, propulsive force" first attested 1799.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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propulsion in Medicine

propulsion pro·pul·sion (prə-pŭl'shən)

  1. A driving or propelling force.

  2. The leaning or falling forward characteristic of the festination of parkinsonism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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