- 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.
Origin of propel
1400–50; late Middle English propellen to expel < Latin prōpellere to drive forward, equivalent to prō- pro-1 + pellere to drive
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. push, prod.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for propelling
I push down on the pedal with my right leg and instead of propelling myself forward, I topple over sideways.You’re Never ‘Cured’ of an Eating Disorder
December 20, 2014
One opened the cell door while another suddenly charged, propelling Davis inside and slamming him against the back wall.The Day Ferguson Cops Were Caught in a Bloody Lie
August 15, 2014
The 54-year-old Socialist contender was asked by WWD, “Do you see yourself in a role à la Michelle Obama, propelling designers?”Anne Hidalgo, Paris’s First Female Mayor, Isn’t a Fashionista…and That’s Quite All Right
April 17, 2014
But, the exposure would be great for the artist, propelling him one step closer to fulfilling the project.Doppelgangers Really Do Exist: These People Are Strangers
March 18, 2014
This new trend was a decisive turn for Alexei Navalny, propelling him into the media spotlight.With Last Media Critics Blocked, Putin Silences the Russia Press
March 15, 2014
Mado laughed as he started the generators of the propelling energy.
There did not seem to be a large amount of propelling power in her.
They had neither oar nor other means of propelling it to shore.The Wonder Island Boys: Exploring the Island
Roger Thompson Finlay
He came back quite rapidly, propelling the boat with the paddle.Forests of Maine
Jacob S. Abbott
"Let's be going," Retief said, propelling Magnan toward the hall.Gambler's World
John Keith Laumer
- (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 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for propelling
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper