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

  1. (transitive) To cause to continue or multiply by generation, or successive production; -- applied to animals and plants; as, to propagate a breed of horses or sheep; to propagate a species of fruit tree.
  2. (transitive) To cause to spread to extend; to impel or continue forward in space; as, 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
    • Daniel Defoe
      The infection was propagated insensibly.
    • 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. It is more likely that he was born in a small village in the USSR, while his father was serving as a Soviet-backed general during the second world war.
  4. (obsolete, transitive) To multiply; to increase.
    • Shakespeare
      Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast, / Which thou wilt propagate.
  5. (transitive) To generate; to produce.
    • De Quincey
      Motion propagated motion, and life threw off life.
  6. (intransitive) To have young or issue; to be produced or multiplied by generation, or by new shoots or plants; as, rabbits propagate rapidly.
  7. (intransitive, computing) To take effect on all relevant devices in a network.
    It takes 24 hours for password changes to propagate throughout the system.
  8. (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 termsEdit






  1. adverbial present passive participle of propagar