- to cause (an organism) to multiply by any process of natural reproduction from the parent stock.
- to reproduce (itself, its kind, etc.), as an organism does.
- to transmit (hereditary features or elements) to, or through, offspring.
- to spread (a report, doctrine, practice, etc.) from person to person; disseminate.
- to cause to increase in number or amount.
- to create (an effect) at a distance, as by electromagnetic waves, compression waves, etc., traveling through space or a physical medium; transmit: to propagate sound.
- to multiply by any process of natural reproduction, as organisms; breed.
- to increase in extent, as a structural flaw: The crack will propagate only to this joint.
- (of electromagnetic waves, compression waves, etc.) to travel through space or a physical medium.
Origin of propagate
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- 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
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
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
- 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.