Share this entry

propulsion Line breaks: pro|pul¦sion
Pronunciation: /prəˈpʌlʃ(ə)n/

Definition of propulsion in English:


[mass noun]
The action of driving or pushing forwards: they dive and use their wings for propulsion under water
More example sentences
  • The propulsion and power systems are controlled from the Machinery Control Room.
  • This kick has more forward propulsion and causes the hips to rise, just like in butterfly.
  • In electric traction, the first inventions for propulsion of vehicles were by battery-stored power.
thrust, motive force, propelling force, impelling force, impetus, impulse, drive, driving force, actuation, push, surge, pressure, momentum, power


Early 17th century (in the sense 'expulsion'): from medieval Latin propulsio(n-), from Latin propellere 'drive before (oneself)'.



Pronunciation: /prəˈpʌlsɪv/
Example sentences
  • A box-like structure on the propeller shaft, the thrust bearing transfers propulsive force from the propeller shaft to the hull of the ship.
  • The propulsive beat went with the bad roads, wild driving and free-form mix of human and animal passengers.
  • A propulsive charge sends the shell into the air.


Pronunciation: /prəˈpʌlsɪvli/
Example sentences
  • Their samples and scratches burble and skitter propulsively, punctuated by atmospheric electronic effects and little blasts of noise.
  • Paired with these classic honky-tonk ballads are his propulsively arranged guitars; they accompany her songs perfectly and inject a significant pulse of rock 'n' roll.

Words that rhyme with propulsion

avulsion, compulsion, convulsion, emulsion, expulsion, impulsion, repulsion, revulsion

Definition of propulsion in:

Share this entry


What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coiffeur
Pronunciation: kwɑːˈfəː
a hairdresser