verb (used with object), prop·a·gat·ed, prop·a·gat·ing.

verb (used without object), prop·a·gat·ed, prop·a·gat·ing.

Origin of propagate

1560–70; < Latin propāgātus (past participle of propāgāre to reproduce (a plant) by cuttings, spread for sprouting, propagate, enlarge), equivalent to propāg(ēs) something set out, scion, slip (pro- pro-1 + pāg-, base of pangere to fasten + -ēs noun suffix) + -ātus -ate1
Related formsprop·a·ga·tive, prop·a·ga·to·ry [prop-uh-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /ˈprɒp ə gəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/, adjectiveprop·a·ga·tor, nounnon·prop·a·ga·tive, adjectiveself-prop·a·gat·ed, adjectiveself-prop·a·gat·ing, adjectiveun·prop·a·gat·ed, adjectiveun·prop·a·ga·tive, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for propagate

Contemporary Examples of propagate

Historical Examples of propagate

  • But they have come into existence, and they propagate their wretched race.

  • The variety is difficult to propagate and, therefore, not in favor with nurserymen.

  • Why then not propagate the system of these happy districts in Ireland?

    The O'Donoghue

    Charles James Lever

  • What right have they to propagate the rottenness of their minds and bodies?

    The Crooked House

    Brandon Fleming

  • In his selection he must have a certain model in his eye, such as he wishes to propagate.

British Dictionary definitions for propagate



biology to reproduce or cause to reproduce; breed
(tr) horticulture to produce (plants) by layering, grafting, cuttings, etc
(tr) to promulgate; disseminate
physics to move through, cause to move through, or transmit, esp in the form of a waveto propagate sound
(tr) to transmit (characteristics) from one generation to the next
Derived Formspropagation, nounpropagational, adjectivepropagative, adjective

Word Origin for propagate

C16: from Latin propāgāre to increase (plants) by cuttings, from propāgēs a cutting, from pangere to fasten
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 propagate

1560s, "to cause to multiply," from Latin propagatus, past participle of propagare "to set forward, extend, procreate" (see propagation). Intransitive sense "reproduce one's kind" is from c.1600. Related: Propagated; propagating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

propagate in Medicine




To cause an organism to multiply or breed.
To breed offspring.
To transmit characteristics from one generation to another.
To cause to move in some direction or through a medium, such as a wave or nerve impulse.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.