Definition of propel in English:


Syllabification: pro·pel
Pronunciation: /prəˈpel

verb (propels, propelling, propelled)

[with object]
1Drive, push, or cause to move in a particular direction, typically forward: the boat is propelled by using a very long paddle [as adjectivein combination]: (-propelled) a rocket-propelled grenade launcher
More example sentences
  • But he found he could propel himself forward by pushing off against the sides with his feet.
  • The propeller or the jet engine of an aircraft pushes air backwards to propel the aircraft forward.
  • And you'll get the added boost of an extra body propelling the boat forward.
1.1Spur or drive into a particular situation: fear propelled her out of her stillness
More example sentences
  • These were ordinary people who were propelled into an extraordinary situation.
  • Do not let fear of error or retribution propel you into a medical appointment or a dangerous situation.
  • He established himself as the champion of the working people and that helped propel him to the presidency.
spur, drive, prompt, precipitate, catapult, motivate, force, impel


late Middle English (in the sense 'expel, drive out'): from Latin propellere, from pro- 'forward' + pellere 'to drive'.

Definition of propel in: