Definition of propel in English:


Line breaks: pro¦pel
Pronunciation: /prəˈpɛl

verb (propels, propelling, propelled)

[with object]
1Drive or push something forwards: the boat is propelled by using a very long paddle (as adjective, in 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.
push/move forwards, move, set in motion, get moving, drive
informal chuck, sling, bung
1.1 [with object and adverbial of direction] Spur 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: