[ pruh-pel-uh nt ]
/ prəˈpɛl ənt /


a propelling agent.
the charge of explosive used to propel the projectile from a gun.
a substance, usually a mixture of fuel and oxidizer, for propelling a rocket.
a compressed inert gas that serves to dispense the contents of an aerosol container when the pressure is released.

Nearby words

  1. propanol,
  2. propantheline bromide,
  3. proparoxytone,
  4. propecia,
  5. propel,
  6. propellent,
  7. propeller,
  8. propeller head,
  9. propeller horsepower,
  10. propeller shaft

Origin of propellant

First recorded in 1915–20; propel + -ant

Related formsmul·ti·pro·pel·lant, noun

Can be confusedpropellant propellent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for propellant

British Dictionary definitions for propellant



/ (prəˈpɛlənt) /


something that provides or causes propulsion, such as the explosive charge in a gun or the fuel in a rocket
the gas used to carry the liquid droplets in an aerosol spray
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 propellant



less-etymological, but more usual, spelling of propellent; 1881 as a firearm explosive; 1919 as "fuel for a rocket engine."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper