v. prop·a·gat·ed, prop·a·gat·ing, prop·a·gates
1. To cause (an organism) to multiply or breed.
2. To breed (offspring).
3. To transmit (characteristics) from one generation to another.
4. To cause to extend to a broader area or larger number; spread: missionaries who propagate the faith.
5. To make widely known; publicize: propagate a rumor.
6. Physics To cause (a wave, for example) to move in some direction or through a medium; transmit.
1. To have offspring; multiply.
2. To extend to a broader area or larger number; spread.
3. Physics To move through a medium.
[Latin prōpāgāre, prōpāgāt-; see pag- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
propa·ga·ble (-gə-bəl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.