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From Latin propagatus.



propagate (third-person singular simple present propagates, present participle propagating, simple past and past participle propagated)

  1. (transitive, of animals or plants) To cause to continue or multiply by generation, or successive production.
    • June 1879, William Keith Brooks, Popular Science Monthly Volume 15 - The Condition of Women from a Zoological Point of View I
      A marked bud-variation is of very rare occurrence, but in many cases the tendency of plants raised from seeds to differ from the parents is so great that choice varieties are propagated entirely by buds. It is almost hopeless to attempt to propagate a choice variety of grape or strawberry by seeds, as the individuals raised in this way seldom have the valuable qualities of their parents, and, although they may have new qualities of equal or greater value, the chances are of course greatly against this, since the possibility of undesirable variation is much greater than the chance of a desirable sport.
  2. (transitive) To cause to spread to extend; to impel or continue forward in space.
    to propagate sound or light
  3. (transitive) To spread from person to person; to extend the knowledge of; to originate and spread; to carry from place to place; to disseminate.
    • 1938, Hilaire Belloc, chapter 4, in The Great Heresies:
      There began to appear from the East, cropping up now here, now there, but in general along lines of advance towards the West, individuals or small communities who proposed and propagated a new and, as they called it, a purified form of religion.
    • 1913, J. B. Bury, chapter 3, in A History of Freedom of Thought:
      The works of the freethinker Averroes (twelfth century) which were based on Aristotle's philosophy, propagated a small wave of rationalism in Christian countries.
    • 2011 December 19, Kerry Brown, “Kim Jong-il obituary”, in The Guardian[1]:
      The DPRK propagated an extraordinary tale of his birth occurring on Mount Baekdu, one of Korea's most revered sites, being accompanied by shooting stars in the sky.
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To multiply; to increase.
  5. (transitive) To generate; to produce.
    • 1860, Thomas De Quincey, “Conversation”, in Letters to a Young Man whose Education has been Neglected; and Other Papers (De Quincey’s Works; XIV), London: James Hogg & Sons, →OCLC, page 157:
      But to [Edmund] Burke, [] the mere act of movement became the principle or cause of movement. Motion propagated motion, and life threw off life.
  6. (intransitive) To be propagated; to travel.
  7. (biology, intransitive) To produce young; to be produced or multiplied by generation, or by new shoots or plants.
  8. (intransitive, computing) To take effect on all relevant devices in a network.
    It takes 24 hours for password changes to propagate throughout the system.
  9. (transitive, computing) To cause to take effect on all relevant devices in a network.
    The server propagates the password file at midnight each day.

Derived terms[edit]






  1. adverbial present passive participle of propagar


Etymology 1[edit]



  1. inflection of propagare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative

Etymology 2[edit]


propagate f pl

  1. feminine plural of propagato





  1. second-person plural present active imperative of prōpāgō




  1. second-person singular voseo imperative of propagar combined with te