[ pruh-pel ]
See synonyms for: propelpropelledpropellingpropels on

verb (used with object),pro·pelled, pro·pel·ling.
  1. to drive, or cause to move, forward or onward: to propel a boat by rowing.

  2. to impel or urge onward: Urgent need of money propelled him to take a job.

Origin of propel

First recorded in 1400–50; late Middle English propellen “to expel,” from Latin prōpellere “to drive forward,” from prō- pro-1 + pellere “to drive, push, strike”

Other words for propel

Other words from propel

  • un·pro·pelled, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use propel in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for propel


/ (prəˈpɛl) /

verb-pels, -pelling or -pelled
  1. (tr) to impel, drive, or cause to move forwards

Origin of propel

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