Ask Difference

Promulgate vs. Propagate — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Updated on October 27, 2023
Promulgate means to formally declare or make known, often laws or decrees, while propagate involves spreading, multiplying, or promoting ideas, beliefs, or organisms.
Promulgate vs. Propagate — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Promulgate and Propagate

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Key Differences

Promulgate refers to the official proclamation or announcement, often of laws or policies. Propagate means to spread or disseminate, whether it's information, beliefs, or living organisms.
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Oct 27, 2023
Promulgate is often associated with authority and formal declaration. Propagate can involve spreading ideas, knowledge, or even species without formal authority.
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Oct 27, 2023
The use of promulgate implies a sense of formality and official capacity. Propagate encompasses a broader range of spreading or multiplying, including biological reproduction.
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Oct 27, 2023
Promulgate is typically top-down, coming from an official or authoritative source. Propagate involves distribution or dissemination, which can occur organically or systematically.
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Oct 27, 2023
In essence, promulgate is about formal announcement and making something widely known. Propagate is about spreading, growing, and often involves a more grassroots or organic process.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 27, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

To formally declare or announce
To spread, multiply, or disseminate
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Context

Often legal or official
Biological, ideological, or informational
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Authority

Associated with formal authority
Can occur without formal authority
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Process

Top-down proclamation
Organic or systematic spreading
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Implication

Formal announcement, often of laws
Spreading ideas, beliefs, or species
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Compare with Definitions

Promulgate

To publish or declare formally.
The new law was promulgated in the national gazette.
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Propagate

To reproduce or multiply, as in plants or animals.
Gardeners use cuttings to propagate new plants.
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Promulgate

To officially announce or make known.
The government decided to promulgate the new policy immediately.
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Propagate

To transmit or spread from person to person or place to place.
The rumor propagated quickly through the small town.
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Promulgate

To put a law or decree into effect by official proclamation.
The president promulgated the emergency regulations.
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Propagate

Breed specimens of (a plant or animal) by natural processes from the parent stock
Try propagating your own houseplants from cuttings
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Promulgate

To make known to the public; popularize or advocate
"Franklin ... first promulgated the idea of free public libraries" (Elaine Wagner).
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Propagate

Spread and promote (an idea, theory, etc.) widely
The French propagated the idea that the English were drunkards
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Promulgate

To put (a law, for example) into effect by formal public announcement.
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Propagate

(with reference to motion, light, sound, etc.) transmit or be transmitted in a particular direction or through a medium
A hydraulic fracture is generally expected to propagate in a vertical plane
Electromagnetic effects can be propagated at a finite velocity only through material substances
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Promulgate

(transitive) To make known or public.
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Propagate

To cause (an organism) to multiply or breed.
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Promulgate

(transitive) To put into effect as a regulation.
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Propagate

To breed (offspring).
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Promulgate

To make known by open declaration, as laws, decrees, or tidings; to publish; as, to promulgate the secrets of a council.
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Propagate

To transmit (characteristics) from one generation to another.
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Promulgate

State or announce;
`I am not a Communist,'
The King will proclaim an amnesty
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Propagate

To cause to extend to a broader area or larger number; spread
Missionaries who propagate the faith.
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Promulgate

Put a law into effect by formal declaration
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Propagate

To make widely known; publicize
Propagate a rumor.
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Promulgate

To make widely known or disseminate officially.
The organization worked to promulgate health guidelines.
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Propagate

(Physics) To cause (a wave, for example) to move in some direction or through a medium; transmit.
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Promulgate

To teach or propagate a doctrine or practice.
The philosopher sought to promulgate his theories.
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Propagate

To have offspring; multiply.
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Propagate

To extend to a broader area or larger number; spread.
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Propagate

(Physics) To move through a medium.
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Propagate

To cause to continue or multiply by generation, or successive production.
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Propagate

(transitive) To cause to spread to extend; to impel or continue forward in space.
To propagate sound or light
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Propagate

(transitive) To spread from person to person; to extend the knowledge of; to originate and spread; to carry from place to place; to disseminate.
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Propagate

To multiply; to increase.
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Propagate

(transitive) To generate; to produce.
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Propagate

To produce young; to be produced or multiplied by generation, or by new shoots or plants.
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Propagate

To take effect on all relevant devices in a network.
It takes 24 hours for password changes to propagate throughout the system.
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Propagate

To cause to take effect on all relevant devices in a network.
The server propagates the password file at midnight each day.
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Propagate

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.
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Propagate

To cause to spread to extend; to impel or continue forward in space; as, to propagate sound or light.
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Propagate

To spread from person to person; to extend the knowledge of; to originate and spread; to carry from place to place; to disseminate; as, to propagate a story or report; to propagate the Christian religion.
The infection was propagated insensibly.
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Propagate

To multiply; to increase.
Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast,Which thou wilt propagate.
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Propagate

To generate; to produce.
Motion propagated motion, and life threw off life.
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Propagate

To have young or issue; to be produced or multiplied by generation, or by new shoots or plants; as, rabbits propagate rapidly.
No need that thouShould'st propagate, already infinite.
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Propagate

Transmit from one generation to the next;
Propagate these characteristics
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Propagate

Travel through the air;
Sound and light propagate in this medium
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Propagate

Transmit;
Propagate sound or light through air
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Propagate

Become distributed or widespread;
The infection spread
Optimism spread among the population
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Propagate

Transmit or cause to broaden or spread;
This great civilization was propagated throughout the land
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Propagate

Cause to become widely known;
Spread information
Circulate a rumor
Broadcast the news
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Propagate

Cause to propagate, as by grafting or layering
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Propagate

Multiply sexually or asexually
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Propagate

To spread or disseminate.
She worked tirelessly to propagate her innovative ideas.
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Propagate

To promote or publicize.
The activists used social media to propagate their message.
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Propagate

To cause to continue or increase by sexual or asexual reproduction.
The farmers used selective breeding to propagate the species.
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Common Curiosities

Is promulgate always top-down?

Typically, yes, as it involves an authoritative or official declaration.
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Is promulgate used in religious contexts?

Yes, it can be used to describe the formal declaration of religious doctrines.
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Does promulgate imply enforcement?

It often does, especially when related to laws or decrees.
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Does propagate always involve biological reproduction?

No, it can also refer to spreading ideas, beliefs, or information.
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Is promulgating a law the same as enforcing it?

Not exactly; promulgating is announcing or making it known, while enforcing is ensuring compliance.
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Can a government propagate ideas?

Yes, governments can propagate ideas, often through campaigns or initiatives.
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Can a law be propagated?

Laws are typically promulgated, but the ideas behind them can be propagated.
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Can a theory be propagated?

Yes, theories can be spread or disseminated, thus propagated.
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What's the main difference between promulgate and propagate?

Promulgate means to officially declare, while propagate means to spread or disseminate.
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Can promulgate be used in a non-legal context?

Yes, it can also refer to making any official announcement or doctrine widely known.
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Can an individual propagate their beliefs?

Yes, individuals can propagate beliefs, ideas, or information.
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Does propagate imply growth?

Often, especially in biological or conceptual contexts.
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Is propagate used in agriculture or horticulture?

Yes, it's commonly used to describe the reproduction or spreading of plants.
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Does promulgate require a formal process?

Generally, it involves a formal or official process.
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Can social media be used to propagate ideas?

Absolutely, social media is a common tool for propagating ideas or information.
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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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