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propagate

[prop-uh-geyt]
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verb (used with object), prop·a·gat·ed, prop·a·gat·ing.
  1. to cause (an organism) to multiply by any process of natural reproduction from the parent stock.
  2. to reproduce (itself, its kind, etc.), as an organism does.
  3. to transmit (hereditary features or elements) to, or through, offspring.
  4. to spread (a report, doctrine, practice, etc.) from person to person; disseminate.
  5. to cause to increase in number or amount.
  6. 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.
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verb (used without object), prop·a·gat·ed, prop·a·gat·ing.
  1. to multiply by any process of natural reproduction, as organisms; breed.
  2. to increase in extent, as a structural flaw: The crack will propagate only to this joint.
  3. (of electromagnetic waves, compression waves, etc.) to travel through space or a physical medium.
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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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for self-propagating

Historical Examples

  • Evil is a mysterious, self-propagating principle, like leaven.

    The Parables of Our Lord

    William Arnot

  • Our Baptist mission churches are fast becoming models of self-supporting, self-governing, and self-propagating bodies.

    A Tour of the Missions

    Augustus Hopkins Strong

  • It is self-propagating, from the fact of its lower branches rooting where they touch the soil.

  • Organisms possess in themselves formative power of a self-propagating kind, which they communicate to their materials.

  • I was obliged, in fact, to brace myself, to reason it out again that right was self-propagating and wrong necessarily sterile.

    The High Heart

    Basil King


British Dictionary definitions for self-propagating

propagate

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

Word Origin

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 self-propagating

propagate

v.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

self-propagating in Medicine

propagate

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