1 [prop]
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.

1400–50; late Middle English proppe (noun); cognate with Middle Dutch proppe bottle stopper

unpropped, adjective

1. brace, buttress, bolster. Unabridged


2 [prop]
noun Theater.
property ( def 8 ).

1910–15; by shortening

propless, adjective


3 [prop]
a propeller.

1910–15; by shortening Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
prop1 (prɒp)
vb (when tr, often foll by up) (usually also foll by against) , props, propping, propped
1.  (tr) to support with a rigid object, such as a stick
2.  to place or lean
3.  (tr) to sustain or support
4.  (Austral), (NZ) (intr) to stop suddenly or unexpectedly
5.  something that gives rigid support, such as a stick
6.  a person or thing giving support, as of a moral or spiritual nature
7.  rugby either of the forwards at either end of the front row of a scrum
[C15: related to Middle Dutch proppe vine prop; compare Old High German pfropfo shoot, German Pfropfen stopper]

prop2 (prɒp)
short for property

prop3 (prɒp)
an informal word for propeller

props (prɒps)
pl n
slang chiefly (US), (Canadian) proper respect: props to my dad

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"support," 1440, from M.Du. proppe "vine prop, support," of unknown origin. Related to O.H.G. pfropfo, Ger. pfropfen "to prop," perhaps from L. propago "a set, layer of a plant" (see propagation). Ir. propa, Gael. prop are from English. The verb meaning "to support" is attested from 1492.

"object used in a play," 1911, from props (1841), shortened form of properties (in theatrical use from early 15c.). Props as slang shortening for proper respects (or something similar) appeared c.1999.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
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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Example sentences
See props, including replica boats, and a gallery of images from the film.
The whales and fish should have special hats, fins, or other props for
The map comes with a trunk of rich activities, games, props and educational
Can't do much to change the pressure difference either since this is what makes
  the props turn.
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