any of several devices for sharpening razors, especially a strip of leather or other flexible material.
Also strap. Nautical, Machinery.
  1. a rope or a band of metal surrounding and supporting a block, deadeye, etc.
  2. a metal band surrounding the pulley of a block to transmit the load on the pulley to its hook or shackle.
  3. a rope sling, as for handling cargo.
  4. a ring or grommet of rope.

verb (used with object), stropped, strop·ping.

to sharpen on or as if on a strop.

Origin of strop

before 1050; Middle English (noun), Old English; cognate with Dutch, Low German strop; all probably < Latin stroppus, variant of struppus strap
Related formsstrop·per, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for strop

Historical Examples of strop

  • In blocks, confines the hook and thimble in the strop home to the scores.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • Annixter grunted good-humouredly, and turned to strop his razor.

    The Octopus

    Frank Norris

  • At the mouth are two beckets or iron rings, through which the strop is rove.

    Stories of the Ships

    Lewis R. Freeman

  • This is better than to strop knives and other tools on your boots.

    Woodworking for Beginners

    Charles Gardner Wheeler

  • During the operation the back of the razor should never be taken from the strop.

British Dictionary definitions for strop



a leather strap or an abrasive strip for sharpening razors
a rope or metal band around a block or deadeye for support
mainly British informal a temper tantrumhe threw a strop and stormed off

verb strops, stropping or stropped

(tr) to sharpen (a razor, etc) on a strop

Word Origin for strop

C14 (in nautical use: a strip of rope): via Middle Low German or Middle Dutch strop, ultimately from Latin stroppus, from Greek strophos cord; see strophe
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 strop

mid-14c., "loop or strap on a harness," probably from Old French estrop (see strap (n.)). Specific sense of "leather strap used for sharpening razors" first recorded 1702. The verb in this sense is from 1841. Distribution of senses between strap and strop is arbitrary.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper