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propel (v.)

mid-15c., propellen, "to drive away, expel," from Latin propellere "push forward, drive forward, drive forth; move, impel," from pro "forward" (see pro-) + pellere "to push, drive" (from PIE root *pel- (5) "to thrust, strike, drive"). Meaning "to drive onward, cause to move forward" is from 1650s. Related: Propelled; propelling.

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Definitions of propel from WordNet

propel (v.)
cause to move forward with force;
Steam propels this ship
Synonyms: impel
propel (v.)
give an incentive for action;
Synonyms: motivate / actuate / move / prompt / incite
From wordnet.princeton.edu