Printable Version
Pronunciation: prê-pæwnd Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: To propose, to put forward.

Notes: This word has the connotation of "firmly", i.e. "propose firmly" because of the apparent word pound in its make-up. Also, we may 'propose marriage' but not 'propound marriage'. This verb comes with two nouns, a personal noun, propounder, and an action noun, propoundment.

In Play: People usually propound: "Jerry Mander figured he lost the election because, during the campaign, he propounded the notion of universal health care." But people are not the only things that may propound: "Rhoda Book's new monograph propounds that more women should become politically involved."

Word History: Propound is a variant of Middle English proponen "to put forward, assert", borrowed from Latin proponere "put forth, set forth, propose" made up of pro "before" + ponere "to put". The D may be explained by the natural development of ponere in French: pondre. English borrowed propose from Old French proposer "to suggest, propose" after French confused Latin pausare "to halt, cease, pause" with ponere "to put, place". They kept the sense of pausare alone in its poser "to pose", which English borrowed, too. For good measure, English took the Latin original, pausare, too. English was the grandest pirate of the lexical seas around the Roman empire. (Now let's thank Daniel Obertance of Ohio for noticing today's exquisite Good Word and reporting it to us.)

Dr. Goodword,

P.S. - Register for the Daily Good Word E-Mail! - You can get our daily Good Word sent directly to you via e-mail in either HTML or Text format. Go to our Registration Page to sign up today!