What is the best word choice for advertising concepts, ideas, ideologies, etc. Suppose that one is trying to propagate the concept, idea, etc. so that more and more people get familiar with the idea, accept it and use it. What is the best word for what he is doing? For example, a religious figure is trying to persuade others to follow the religion he follows.

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    "Propagate" itself works pretty well. "Proselytize" fits the bill more or less exactly, though. Did you have other ideas for words that you didn't feel were quite right? – Luke Sawczak Jun 17 '17 at 12:59
  • It's still often closely connected to the (Christian) religious context, particularly in the US, but evangelist is often used more metaphorically. The definition in that link says any zealous advocate of a cause - the central idea (in both literal and figurative contexts) is that the evangelist tries hard to convert others to his belief system (i.e. - it's more about recruiting others into the fold than being deeply committed to it oneself). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 17 '17 at 13:20
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    (Note that the verb usage evangelising/evangelizing is far from uncommon.) – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jun 17 '17 at 13:23
  • @LukeSawczak I did not understand your question – Shayan Jun 18 '17 at 11:47
  • @Shayan I meant: "What are some words you considered, but rejected?" However, now that lots of suggestions have been given, I think you can just choose one of them. – Luke Sawczak Jun 18 '17 at 12:09

... For example, a religious figure is trying to persuade others to follow the religion he follows.

The verb proselytize would work in that context as would advance.

He has been advancing the idea of an Indy 500 for driverless cars.

In the concept of advertising or propaganda, you could say:

He was flogging the same old concepts|ideologies

He was blandishing the same ideas he always does.

He was peddling the same old ideas.

He was hawking the same ideas.

which are pejorative.


"Promote" is fairly common:

His mission is to promote the use of alternate, ecologically-friendly energy resources.

In a religious context, "proselytize" is often appropriate, but not often used except as a negative. "Preach" is, I think, more common among people who see what they do as having a positive effect.

Some of the first Europeans to come to the Hawaiian Islands were Christian missionaries who came to preach their faith to the native population.

"Evangelize" is not commonly used as a verb. Instead you can refer to religious groups that do this as "evangelical" or "evangelist" (which actually means "focused on the gospel" and not "promoting religion"). These terms can be used ironically to suggest someone has an almost religious fervor to promote some product or issue -- for example the YouTube channel "Teslavangelist" created by someone really excited about his Tesla automobile.

He is also an evangelist for clean water in developing countries.


In addition to the excellent answers, I think you can also use the following verbs:

  1. promulgate: Promote or make widely known (an idea or cause)
  2. spread: Gradually reach or cause to reach a wider area or more people.

Next examples are also from the Oxford dictionary:

"It's in their interests, the pharmaceutical industry, to promulgate that sort of idea on the public."

"‘This might be a good venue to spread your propaganda.

However, I think, the former sounds formal, as apposed to the latter.


As it relates more generally to

trying to propagate the concept, idea, etc. so that more and more people get familiar with the idea, accept it

a common expression you might hear is

raise awareness


spread awareness

"Raising awareness" typically is a generic usage that can be said of any effort to bring attention to some issue that people may be not know about. You also might raise awareness for some cause that most people know about, but you just want to bring it back into the front of people's minds.

Raising awareness does not in and of itself imply that you want people to actually take any specific action. That's why I left "use it" off the end of your sentence – because raising awareness tends to be more about making people more familiar with the idea, but not necessarily about making them do anything about it.

For example, if raising awareness about some disease, you might hope that some people will donate money to research on how to prevent the disease. But your primary motivation might simply be to let more people know that the disease is out there in hopes that they'll respond with empathy if they come across someone who has the disease.

You also wouldn't use "raising awareness" in the context of the religious figure trying to persuade others to follow his religion because the phrase does not necessarily imply any active persuasion to believe in something. It's more just about letting people know that the idea is out there, and if they want to learn more about it on their own, they can.

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