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propagate Syllabification: prop·a·gate
Pronunciation: /ˈpräpəˌɡāt/

Definition of propagate in English:


[with object]
1Breed specimens of (a plant, animal, etc.) by natural processes from the parent stock: try propagating your own houseplants from cuttings
More example sentences
  • Cultivars must be vegetatively propagated using plant tissue culture and this is a time-consuming and costly process requiring large tracts of experimental fields.
  • Gay shopped plant sales, propagated her own stock and taught her daughter how to take cuttings.
  • As with black Sampson coneflower, propagation by root division is rarely successful, so propagate this species by seed after moist stratification.
breed, grow, cultivate
1.1 [no object] (Of a plant, animal, etc.) reproduce by natural processes: the plant propagates freely from stem cuttings
More example sentences
  • Turning from the very small to the very large, mathematics has also proved useful in understanding how particular tree species propagate across a geographic region.
  • Trees can propagate sexually or vegetatively.
  • They reduce wildfire damage, help fire-dependent species propagate, and remove competing species like red maple.
reproduce, multiply, proliferate, increase, spread, self-seed, self-sow
2Spread and promote (an idea, theory, etc.) widely: the French propagated the idea that the English were violent and gluttonous drunkards
More example sentences
  • I dislike theories that propagate the idea of one pole vs. another and indeed the idea that we, as a race, have somewhere to go.
  • I am an educator; I like to think that my ideas are propagated through education, but I don't want to force my work on people.
  • The bill did not propagate a radical new idea, he said, but one that had existed in various forms for more than a century.
spread, disseminate, communicate, make known, promulgate, circulate, broadcast, publicize, proclaim, preach, promote
literary bruit abroad
3(With reference to motion, light, sound, etc.) transmit or be transmitted in a particular direction or through a medium: [with object]: electromagnetic effects can be propagated at a finite velocity only through material substances [no object]: a hydraulic fracture is generally expected to propagate in a vertical plane (as adjective propagated) a propagated electrical signal
More example sentences
  • As light is propagated through a biological medium, components of that light are either propagated forward in the medium, absorbed by molecules, or scattered in all directions within the medium.
  • Sound waves are propagated within a medium, and simply do not exist ‘in the absence of interactions’.
  • It is only when mysteriously united to a body that spirit is brought into relationship with place or extension, and under such a condition alone, and only through such a medium, can it propagate motion.


Pronunciation: /ˈpräpəˌɡādiv/
Example sentences
  • The propagative stages of the nematode occur exclusively in adult male crickets; thus adult females crickets are refractory to infection.
Pronunciation: /ˈpräpəˌɡādər/
Example sentences
  • He is, even more importantly, and as a result of these successes, the creator and propagator of a style.
  • The bottom panel shows the difference between the original calibrated propagator and the fit on the same scale.


Late Middle English: from Latin propagat- 'multiplied from layers or shoots', from the verb propagare; related to propago 'young shoot' (from a base meaning 'fix').

Words that rhyme with propagate

objurgate • expurgate
Definition of propagate in:
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