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noun (usually used with a singular verb) Slang.
  1. proper or due respect or recognition; credit:I give him props for putting up with annoying customers.

Origin of props

1990–95; Americanism; shortening of earlier propers (in the same sense), from proper, adjective


verb (used with object), propped, prop·ping.
  1. 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.
  2. to rest (a thing) against a support: He propped his cane against the wall.
  3. to support or sustain (often followed by up).
  1. a stick, rod, pole, beam, or other rigid support.
  2. a person or thing serving as a support or stay: His father is his financial prop.

Origin of prop1

1400–50; late Middle English proppe (noun); cognate with Middle Dutch proppe bottle stopper
Related formsun·propped, adjective


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1. brace, buttress, bolster.


noun Theater.
  1. property(def 8).

Origin of prop2

First recorded in 1910–15; by shortening
Related formsprop·less, adjective


  1. a propeller.

Origin of prop3

First recorded in 1910–15; by shortening
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for props

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • It has fixed rules which are the props of order, and will not swerve or bend in extreme cases.

  • Put up a forest of props (as at the Abbey) and keep off touch and contamination?

    The Christian

    Hall Caine

  • He felt as if the props had been kicked from beneath a line on which swung all his best linen.

    Mixed Faces

    Roy Norton

  • Many of the walls are supported by props to prevent them from tumbling.

  • The young manager watched the operations and took a tally of the props.

    The Pit Prop Syndicate

    Freeman Wills Crofts

British Dictionary definitions for props


pl n
  1. slang, mainly US and Canadian proper respectprops to my dad


verb props, propping or propped (when tr, often foll by up)
  1. (tr) to support with a rigid object, such as a stick
  2. (tr usually also foll by against) to place or lean
  3. (tr) to sustain or support
  4. (intr) Australian and NZ to stop suddenly or unexpectedly
  1. something that gives rigid support, such as a stick
  2. a person or thing giving support, as of a moral or spiritual nature
  3. 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


  1. short for property (def. 8)


  1. 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

Word Origin and History for props



"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.



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



short for propeller, 1914.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with props


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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