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  1. #1
    Outre is offline Newbie
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    Differences between "propagate," "promote" and "spread"?

    I saw the following sentence in Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary.

    The group propagates its antigovernment doctrine on the Web.

    Will the meaning change if I replace propagates with promotes or spreads? I rarely see the word propagate. I don't know where I should use it. Could someone explain?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: Differences between "propagate," "promote" and "spread"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Outre View Post
    Will the meaning change if I replace propagates with promotes or spreads?
    In that example, there would be little or no difference/change in meaning if you used "promotes" or "spreads" instead of "propagates".
    However, "promote" is not always interchangeable with "propagate".

    Quote Originally Posted by Outre View Post
    I rarely see the word propagate. I don't know where I should use it. Could someone explain?
    You can search for all those verbs in the links below. That'll show you how they're typically used and, hopefully, the differences between them. If you still need help, post below.

    https://corpus.byu.edu/coca/x.asp?r1=&w=1024&h=600

    https://corpus.byu.edu/bnc/

  3. #3
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Differences between "propagate," "promote" and "spread"?

    Propagate is common in engineering and science. For example, waves propagate through a medium. In this context, it's rare to use another verb except perhaps in a simplified explanation.
    I am not a teacher.

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