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[prop] /prɒp/
verb (used with object), propped, propping.
to support, or prevent from falling, with or as if with a prop (often followed by up):
to prop an old fence; to prop up an unpopular government.
to rest (a thing) against a support:
He propped his cane against the wall.
to support or sustain (often followed by up).
a stick, rod, pole, beam, or other rigid support.
a person or thing serving as a support or stay:
His father is his financial prop.
Origin of prop1
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English proppe (noun); cognate with Middle Dutch proppe bottle stopper
Related forms
unpropped, adjective
1. brace, buttress, bolster. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for propped
  • In place of foil, my burrito is wrapped in yellow waxed paper and propped in a tray.
  • Federal stimulus money, which propped up many budgets over the past two years, is drying up.
  • If so, that temporarily propped-up self-esteem usually gets clobbered by the repercussions of procrastination.
  • Not only that, drilling for shale gas has propped up economies in some of the country's down-and-out regions.
  • He propped open the back door to the house and covered the gap with a canvas door with a circular opening.
  • The bundles often had false heads, textiles stuffed with cotton, propped on top.
  • Knoll speculated that the pillars may have been propped up, perhaps by wooden posts.
  • The truth is, you can make a great grilled meal using an old grill grid propped up by a few bricks on either side.
  • She propped herself on her elbows to see, the table paper crinkling beneath her.
  • They propped themselves up a bit with their downward-facing fins, so that they could see a little with their downward facing eye.
British Dictionary definitions for propped


verb props, propping, propped when tr, often foll by up
(transitive) to support with a rigid object, such as a stick
(transitive) usually also foll by against. to place or lean
(transitive) to sustain or support
(intransitive) (Austral & NZ) to stop suddenly or unexpectedly
something that gives rigid support, such as a stick
a person or thing giving support, as of a moral or spiritual nature
(rugby) either of the forwards at either end of the front row of a scrum
Word Origin
C15: related to Middle Dutch proppe vine prop; compare Old High German pfropfo shoot, German Pfropfen stopper


short for property (sense 8)


an informal word for propeller
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for propped



"support," mid-15c., from Middle Dutch proppe "vine prop, support," of unknown origin. Probably related to Old High German pfropfo, German pfropfen "to prop," perhaps from Latin propago "a set, layer of a plant" (see propagation). Irish propa, Gaelic prop are from English.

"object used in a play," 1898, from props (1841), shortened form of properties (which was in theatrical use from early 15c.). Props as slang shortening for proper respects (or something similar) appeared c.1999.

short for propeller, 1914.


"to support," mid-15c., probably from prop (n.1) or a related verb in Dutch. Related: Propped; propping.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Related Abbreviations for propped


The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with propped
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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