Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Language: Latin
Origin: propellere, from pellere 'to drive'

propel

verb
     
pro‧pel past tense and past participle propelled, present participle propelling [transitive]
1 to move, drive, or push something forward [↪ propulsion]:
a boat propelled by a small motor
One of our students was unable to propel her wheelchair up the ramp.
propel yourself along/through etc
She used the sticks to propel herself along.
2 written to make someone move in a particular direction, especially by pushing them:
He took her arm and propelled her towards the door.
3 to move someone into a new situation or make them do something
propel somebody to/into something
The film propelled her to stardom.
Company directors were propelled into action.

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary