verb (used with object), propped, prop·ping.

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 prop

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

Synonyms for prop Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for propped

Contemporary Examples of propped

Historical Examples of propped

  • When she was not at home, it sat on K.'s dresser, propped against his collar-box.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • His head dropped back on his chair; he propped his sagging legs on a stool.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • And when she had propped you up against the bank, she came for me.

    Green Mansions

    W. H. Hudson

  • He propped himself against a wall and reproved his tormentors in Latin.

  • Helen sat up and propped her chin in her hands with her elbows on her knees.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

British Dictionary definitions for propped



verb props, propping or propped (when tr, often foll by up)

(tr) to support with a rigid object, such as a stick
(tr usually also foll by against) to place or lean
(tr) to sustain or support
(intr) Australian and 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 for prop

C15: related to Middle Dutch proppe vine prop; compare Old High German pfropfo shoot, German Pfropfen stopper







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 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.



"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 propped


see knock the bottom (props) out from.

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