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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Community Comment

A Word A Day — promulgate

Good morning, Netizens...

December 30, 2012

Word of the Day

  • promulgate
  • audio pronunciation
  • \PRAH-mul-gayt\


: to make (as a doctrine) known by open declaration : proclaim
a : to make known or public the terms of (a proposed law) b : to put (a law) into action or force

Her ideas have been widely promulgated on the Internet.

"Expectations are high that the EPA will act swiftly in Obama's second term to more aggressively promulgate a variety of new rules and regulations aimed at all forms of pollution, including greenhouse gases. These will almost certainly meet legal challenges of their own." — From an article by Tom Zeller, Jr. at The Huffington Post, November 28, 2012


The origin of "promulgate" is a bit murky, or perhaps we should say "milky." It comes from Latin "promulgatus," which in turn derives from "pro-," meaning "forward," and "-mulgare," a form that is probably related to the verb "mulgēre," meaning "to milk" or "to extract." "Mulgēre" is an ancestor of the English word "emulsion" ("mixture of mutually insoluble liquids"), and it is also related to the Old English word that became "milk" itself. Like its synonyms "declare," "announce," and "proclaim," "promulgate" means to make known publicly. It particularly implies the proclaiming of a dogma, doctrine, or law.

Spokesman-Review readers blog about news and issues in Spokane written by Dave Laird.