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90s Slang You Should Know


[prop-uh-lis] /ˈprɒp ə lɪs/
a reddish resinous cement collected by bees from the buds of trees, used to stop up crevices in the hives, strengthen the cells, etc.
Also called bee glue.
Origin of propolis
1350-1400; < Latin < Greek própolis bee glue, literally, outskirts of a city (see pro-2, -polis), apparently orig. the name for a structure around the entrance to a hive, hence applied to the glue from which it was made; replacing Middle English propoleos < Medieval Latin, for Latin propolis as above Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for propolis
Historical Examples
  • Yes, it is bee-glue (propolis); it is very common on old hives.

  • They are then killed and covered with a coating of propolis.

    Animal Intelligence George J. Romanes
  • They use the propolis for another purpose still, which deserves to be mentioned.

    The Insect World Louis Figuier
  • They encase it in propolis, which preserves it from putrefaction.

    The Insect World Louis Figuier
  • propolis: a glue or resin-like product elaborated by bees to serve as a cement in cases where wax is not sufficiently tenacious.

  • And Fessa took the last of the propolis from her very roughly.

    Nuova Vernon Kellogg
  • According to Huber, who made this observation, the propolis is applied also to the insides of the cells.

    Animal Intelligence George J. Romanes
  • We actually saw two or three arrive, and carry the propolis from off the limbs of each with their teeth.

    Insect Architecture James Rennie
  • The bees find it difficult to gather the propolis, and equally so to remove from their thighs, and to work so sticky a material.

  • Annoyed by this inquisitiveness, the bees resolved to put an end to it, and cemented the shutter with propolis.

    The Industries of Animals Frdric Houssay
British Dictionary definitions for propolis


a greenish-brown resinous aromatic substance collected by bees from the buds of trees for use in the construction of hives Also called bee glue, hive dross
Word Origin
C17: via Latin from Greek: suburb, bee glue, from pro- before + polis city
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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