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- (transitive) To provide an impetus for motion or physical action, to cause to move in a certain direction; to drive forward.
- 1918 September–November, Edgar Rice Burroughs, “The Land That Time Forgot”, in The Blue Book Magazine, Chicago, Ill.: Story-press Corp., →OCLC; republished as chapter V, in Hugo Gernsback, editor, Amazing Stories, (please specify |part=I, II, or III), New York, N.Y.: Experimenter Publishing, 1927, →OCLC:
- When it had advanced from the wood, it hopped much after the fashion of a kangaroo, using its hind feet and tail to propel it, and when it stood erect, it sat upon its tail.
- (transitive, figurative) To provide an impetus for non-physical change, to make to arrive to a certain situation or result.
- 2005, Plato, translated by Lesley Brown, Sophist, page 265e:
- I can discern your nature and see that even without any arguments (logoi) from me it will propel you to what you say you are drawn towards,
- 2020 November 7, Chelsea Janes, “Kamala Harris, daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, elected nation’s first female vice president”, in Washington Post:
- Black women helped propel Harris and president-elect Joe Biden to victory by elevating turnout in places like Detroit, Milwaukee and Philadelphia.
to cause to move in a certain direction
to make to arrive to a certain situation or result
- (rare) propeller
- propeller (mechanical device used to propel)
Declension of propel