1560s, "to cause to multiply by natural generation or reproduction" (transitive), from Latin propagatus, past participle of propagare "set forward, extend, spread, increase; multiply plants by layers, breed," from propago (genitive propaginis) "that which propagates, offspring," from pro "forth" (see pro-) + -pag, from PIE root *pag- "to fasten," source of pangere "to fasten" (see pact). Intransitive sense "reproduce one's kind" is from c. 1600. The meaning "spread from place to place or person to person" (of a belief, doctrine, etc.) is from c. 1600. Related: Propagated; propagating.
It forms all or part of: Areopagus; appease; appeasement; compact (adj.) "concentrated;" compact (n.1) "agreement;" fang; impact; impale; impinge; newfangled; pace (prep.) "with the leave of;" pacific; pacify; pact; pagan; page (n.1) "sheet of paper;" pageant; pale (n.) "limit, boundary, restriction;" palette; palisade; patio; pawl; pax; pay; peace; peasant; pectin; peel (n.2) "shovel-shaped instrument;" pole (n.1) "stake;" propagate; propagation; travail; travel.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit pasa- "cord, rope," pajra- "solid, firm;" Avestan pas- "to fetter;" Greek pegnynai "to fix, make firm, fast or solid," pagos "pinnacle, cliff, rocky hill;" Latin pangere "to fix, to fasten," pagina "column," pagus "district;" Slavonic paž "wooden partition;" Old English fegan "to join," fon "to catch seize."
1530s, "action of sowing, from Latin seminationem (nominative seminato) "a sowing, propagation," noun of action from past-participle stem of seminare "to plant, propagate," from semen (genitive seminis) "seed" (from PIE root *sē- "to sow").
c. 1600, "to scatter or sow for propagation," from Latin disseminatus, past participle of disseminare "to spread abroad, disseminate," from dis- "in every direction" (see dis-) + seminare "to plant, propagate," from semen (genitive seminis) "seed" (from PIE root *sē- "to sow"). Figurative sense of "to spread by diffusion (teaching, opinion, error, etc.) with reference to some intended result" is by 1640s. Related: Disseminated; disseminates; disseminating. Middle English had dissemen "to scatter" (early 15c.).
late 14c., "fresh green color," from Old French verdure "greenness, greenery, green fields, herbs," from verd, variant of vert "green" (12c.), from Latin viridis (source of Spanish, Italian verde), related to virere "be green," of unknown origin. Perhaps ultimately from a root meaning "growing plant" and cognate with Lithuanian veisti "propagate," Old Norse visir "bud, sprout," Old English wise "sprout, stalk, etc." But de Vaan writes that "None of the adduced set of cognates (Lat. 'green', Baltic 'multiply, fruit', Gm. 'sprout, meadow') undoubtedly belong together." Meaning "green plants, vegetation" is attested from c. 1400.
"one not belonging to a regular body" of any sort, "one not subject to or not conforming with established regulations," 1610s, from irregular (adj.). Main modern sense of "a soldier not of the regular army" is from 1747.
Doubtless, the life of an Irregular is hard; but the interests of the Greater Number require that it shall be hard. If a man with a triangular front and a polygonal back were allowed to exist and to propagate a still more Irregular posterity, what would become of the arts of life? Are the houses and doors and churches in Flatland to be altered in order to accommodate such monsters? [Edwin Abbot, "Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions," 1885]
1718, "committee of cardinals in charge of foreign missions of the Catholic Church," short for Congregatio de Propaganda Fide "congregation for propagating the faith," a committee of cardinals established 1622 by Gregory XV to supervise foreign missions. The word is properly the ablative fem. gerundive of Latin propagare "set forward, extend, spread, increase" (see propagation).
Hence, "any movement or organization to propagate some practice or ideology" (1790). The modern political sense ("dissemination of information intended to promote a political point of view") dates from World War I, not originally pejorative and implying bias or deliberate misleading. Meaning "material or information propagated to advance a cause, etc." is from 1929. Related: Propagandic.
1773, "lively square dance for four couples," consisting regularly of five complete parts, from French quadrille (17c.), originally one of four groups of horsemen in a tournament (a sense attested in English from 1738), from Spanish cuadrilla, diminutive of cuadro "four-sided battle square," from Latin quadrum "a square," related to quattuor "four" (from PIE root *kwetwer- "four"). The craze for the dance hit England in 1816, and it underwent a vigorous revival late 19c. among the middle classes.
Earlier it was the name of a popular card game for four hands, and in this sense it is from French quadrille (1725), from Spanish cuartillo, from cuarto "fourth," from Latin quartus. OED notes it as fashionable ("and was in turn superseded by whist") from 1726, the year of Swift's (or Congreve's) satirical ballad on the craze:
The commoner, and knight, the peer,
Men of all ranks and fame,
Leave to their wives the only care,
To propagate their name;
And well that duty they fulfil
When the good husband's at Quadrille &c.