AskDefine | Define propel

Dictionary Definition



1 cause to move forward with force; "Steam propels this ship" [syn: impel]
2 give an incentive for action; "This moved me to sacrifice my career" [syn: motivate, actuate, move, prompt, incite] [also: propelling, propelled]

User Contributed Dictionary



Historically (late ) meant "expel, drive out". From propellere, meaning pro- "forward" and pellere "to drive".



  1. To cause to move, to surge forward.
    • 2005, Plato, Sophist. Translation by Lesley Brown. 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,




to cause to move, to surge forward
  • Finnish: työntää
  • Portuguese: propulsar

Extensive Definition

Propel may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

actuate, advance, animate, bowl, bunt, butt, compel, drive, drive on, egg on, energize, exhort, force, forward, foster, galvanize, get moving, give an impetus, give momentum, goad, impel, incite, launch, mobilize, motivate, move, move to action, nudge, pedal, pole, power, prick, prod, promote, prompt, push, put in motion, roll, row, send, set agoing, set going, set in motion, shove, shunt, spark, spur, start, stimulate, sweep, sweep along, thrust, treadle, troll, trundle, whip on
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