Main definitions of prop in English

: prop1prop2prop3

prop1

noun

  • 1A pole or beam used as a temporary support or to keep something in position:

    ‘he looked around for a prop to pin the door open’
    • ‘The entire structure is supported with conventional props and crossbeams.’
    • ‘You can paint the prop if you like, but copper-based paint won't stay on a bronze prop (nor bronze rudders and struts) for long.’
    • ‘I've still got the props up supporting the house.’
    • ‘Creating an intense heat and light that at once attracts and repels, the hand leans backwards, resting on a prop not unlike the beams used to construct roofs of houses.’
    pole, post, beam, support, upright, brace, buttress, stay, shaft, strut, stanchion, shore, pier, vertical, pillar, pile, piling, bolster, truss, column, rod, stick
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A person or thing that is a major source of support or assistance:
      ‘he found himself becoming the emotional prop of the marriage’
      • ‘One of the things that becomes very clear from talking to Lauren is that she sees her independence and her non-reliance on external props as a major strength.’
      • ‘Instead, it has itself assumed the role of a prop.’
      • ‘Surging exports to the US have been the main prop of Japan's economic recovery.’
      • ‘It is a prop to assist very different party philosophies to stay together.’
      • ‘The doctrines of the Church of England in which she was educated provided an important political and emotional prop for the rest of her life.’
      • ‘Then we see that the emotional state was just a prop to which we're addicted in order to confirm our identity, to hold us together.’
      • ‘Labour has been the main political prop of Norwegian capitalism throughout most of the twentieth century.’
      • ‘Tobacco was a useful prop, and it helped to prevent his opponents from watching him too closely, as if he could literally hide his thoughts behind a cloud of smoke.’
      • ‘A major prop for the dollar has long been the simple fact that oil is priced in dollars.’
      • ‘In a research note, HSBC said a slowing housing market will remove a major prop to consumer spending and weaken the economy.’
      • ‘Liquor was a major prop of the colonial government, which consciously fashioned customs duties to extract the maximum revenue from the trade.’
      • ‘A great pity, then, but these unique beers certainly don't need the organic prop to help them stand securely in the marketplace.’
      mainstay, pillar, anchor, rock, backbone, support, cornerstone
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Grammar A word used to fill a syntactic role without any specific meaning of its own, for example it in it is raining.
  • 2Rugby
    A forward at either end of the front row of a scrum.

    • ‘The spirit in the side was perhaps epitomised by the courage shown by loosehead prop Alastair Lyon.’
    • ‘You can set your clock by the substitution of the tight-head prop forward.’
    • ‘Tighthead prop Eddie Andrews was another man who grew in stature as the match wore on.’
    • ‘Al Baxter returns as the starting tighthead prop, pushing Matt Dunning back to the bench.’
    • ‘Loosehead prop Mike Coetzee stood his man well, but needs to be more mobile.’
  • 3Australian A sudden stop made by a horse moving at speed.

verb

  • 1[with object and adverbial of place] Support or keep in position:

    ‘she propped her chin in the palm of her right hand’
    • ‘Ling Yi propped her chin on the desk, staring longingly at the phone.’
    • ‘I helped using my left hand while propping myself with my right.’
    • ‘Readjusting his position, he propped himself against the log, his whole body relaxing.’
    • ‘Her back failed to support her even propped by overstuffed cushions and she slumped, weakness overtaking her.’
    • ‘He returned to his seat and sighed, propping his chin on his fist.’
    • ‘Others huddle on or against driftwood with notebooks propped on their knees.’
    • ‘Jake looked up, propping himself up with his elbows.’
    • ‘Tristan leaned back and stretched his legs out so they were propped on the chair in front of him.’
    • ‘She heard footsteps running towards her and felt arms prop her up.’
    • ‘She had her elbows propped on her elbows and her chin in her hand.’
    • ‘Katlyn opened her eyes and sat up, her arms propping her up from behind.’
    • ‘The patient should use pillows, rolled towels, blankets, or large pieces of foam to prop his or her body into the prescribed head position for sleeping.’
    • ‘On the far side, where a tall window overlooked the garden, an old woman lay in bed, propped by pillows to a half-sitting position.’
    • ‘I had forced myself to a half-sitting position, propping myself on my un-injured arm, when the pieces clicked.’
    • ‘Vicki shook her head and rested her chin on her hands, which were propped on her knees.’
    • ‘I lean against the door frame, casually propping myself up.’
    • ‘Diane leaned over her desk, propping her chin on her fist.’
    • ‘Cal leaned forward and propped both elbows on the bed.’
    • ‘She looks at her feet, now propped on the stool next to her.’
    • ‘He leaned forward and propped his chin in his slender hands.’
    hold up, shore up, bolster up, buttress, support, brace, underpin, reinforce, strengthen
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Lean (something) against something else:
      ‘a jug of milk with a note propped against it’
      ‘she propped the picture up on the mantlepiece’
      • ‘Her feet were propped up on the table and she was looking at some papers in her hands.’
      • ‘She came back to reality to find herself propped against a tree.’
      • ‘As she took a step forward, her hand hit the picture frame she had propped on her desk.’
      • ‘Eva pulled Anthony into a sitting position and propped him against the wall.’
      • ‘He leaned back on one foot and propped his bayonet against the wall.’
      • ‘Vice propped his bass on the stand and sprinted to the house next door.’
      • ‘She propped the note on the night stand next to Russell's side of the mattress and returned to the door to gaze out.’
      • ‘She pulled Kaitlin's gaunt body into a sitting position and propped her against the headboard.’
      • ‘His right foot was propped up against the wall, and his hands were in his pockets.’
      • ‘There were old bales of hay propped in odd corners of the property, covered in snow.’
      • ‘A book was propped on his knee, and his face was in shadow.’
      • ‘Lia leaned back against the sofa, her legs casually propped on the table.’
      lean, rest, set, stand, position, place, lay, balance, steady
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Use an object to keep (something) in position:
      ‘he found that the door was propped open’
      • ‘The windows of the classroom were open, blinds drawn, and the door was propped open.’
      • ‘The outer door was propped open, the storm door the only one keeping the bugs from entering the house.’
      • ‘One police car is double-parked out front, and the door of the row house is propped open.’
      • ‘Sanura's door was propped open, as it always was, so Rebecca went straight to the illuminated room.’
      • ‘Sighing gratefully, she saw that they were propped open to let in more light and the soft smells of spring air.’
      • ‘Needless to say, I made a hasty retreat, kicking aside the wedge propping my kitchen door open so it slammed shut, keeping the rodent hopefully contained in one room.’
      • ‘The vine-trellis has collapsed and has been clumsily propped up.’
      • ‘At the end of the corridor, they approached a huge double door made of glass that was propped open.’
      • ‘Clean out the refrigerator and leave it and all lockers and drawers propped open.’
      • ‘The double doors to the entrance were propped open, and a few people milled around on the first floor.’
      • ‘We are going to be among the many who will gladly take the extra refuse to the council offices, to prevent cats, foxes and stray dogs attacking bags which are propping our bin lids open.’
      • ‘They keep propping the wooden door open for no apparent reason - it's not like the storm door lets any air in.’
      • ‘I raised the hood, propped it and leaned in over the fender.’
      • ‘It was propped open, revealing a slice of tiled floor and fluorescent light.’
      • ‘Any office cooled to a temperature lower than 25C or any shop that leaves its door propped open could be fined.’
      • ‘In a ground floor flat in Belsize Park, I stowed my guitars in the cupboard and instead began propping the door open with the Oxford Handbook of Criminology.’
      • ‘I sat down with my back to the wall next to the door that was propped open.’
      • ‘He forced himself to remain impassive and calm, though his eyelids looked like they were being propped open by toothpicks.’
      • ‘The ‘guest’ chair, replete with cat, is propping my door wide open to allow the cat to vacate the premises when it so desires.’
      • ‘The front door was propped open with a stone, and above the doorway was a sign depicting an artist's easel.’
  • 2Australian [no object] (of a horse) come to a dead stop with the forelegs rigid.

    • ‘Alerted by Gold was being led off the racetrack when she propped and refused to move.’
    • ‘Kalanisi propped while galloping out and unseated exercise rider Wally Lowsby, who held on to the reins.’

Phrases

  • prop up the bar

    • informal Spend a considerable time drinking in a pub:

      ‘Keith was propping up the bar and waving a £10 note at the landlady’
      • ‘One couldn't help feeling that the hacks propping up the bar in the Kenmore Hotel come Monday lunchtime were more interested in the seamier side of the cricketer's private life than they were in Scottish angling.’
      • ‘Earlier this season, he was dropped from the Senegal national side after claims that he had been propping up the bar of a local nightclub in the early hours of a match day.’
      • ‘Or if they were, they were having an early night and not propping up the bar after midnight.’
      • ‘Local people had been propping up the bar and getting drunk in there for half a millennia.’
      • ‘A few of the local fishermen were propping up the bar, discussing the day's catch and the current problems within the industry.’
      • ‘Instead we have for centuries propped up the bar.’
      • ‘We would hanker after a glass of beer and imagine propping up the bar at the Pen-y-Gwryd.’
      • ‘At one point, near the end of her set, she wanders off the stage, dreadlocked minder in tow, mixes with a crowd of stragglers who are propping up the bar, then runs back on stage to continue singing.’
      • ‘We spent the first 45 minutes or so, whilst everyone was arriving, propping up the bar and sampling the exotic Martinis.’
      • ‘We propped up the bar at Le Pub and talked a while.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • prop someone/thing up

    • Support or assist someone or something that would otherwise fail or decline:

      ‘the government spent £3 billion in an attempt to prop up the pound’
      • ‘It is pretty obvious that the present government is propped up by Scots.’
      • ‘Investing in heritage means enhancing it, not just propping it up.’
      • ‘Standard Life is a pillar on which a lot of financial Scotland is propped up.’
      • ‘People coming through the gates isn't enough to prop a club up.’
      • ‘We couldn't give money just to prop it up for a few months,’ said Wilson.’
      • ‘For example, if one currency suffers a sudden and unexpected fall, the other central banks will normally move to prop it up.’
      • ‘Mobutu, Marcos, Suharto and other notorious dictators were propped up by massive loans.’
      • ‘They had been propping the Tories up and have now decided to chuck them away.’
      • ‘The ‘bottom line’, as one American economist sagely noted, is that consumers have probably been propping the economy up for some time.’
      • ‘First it was a Portuguese colony, then, after independence, its Soviet-style government was propped up by Moscow and Havana and destabilised by South Africa and the United States.’
      subsidize, underwrite, fund, finance, maintain
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: probably from Middle Dutch proppe support (for vines).

Pronunciation:

prop

/prɒp/

Main definitions of prop in English

: prop1prop2prop3

prop2

noun

usually props
  • 1A portable object other than furniture or costumes used on the set of a play or film.

    • ‘O'Neil handled props on this film and went on to helm a few others.’
    • ‘We also had provided them with disguise materials and props that would help fill out their roles.’
    • ‘It involved actors and local children who had attended workshops beforehand to produce props and costumes.’
    • ‘The set, lighting, costumes and props - along with a kooky, swinging Vegas-style soundscape - are outstanding.’
    • ‘The use of candles is clever, with them used as both a prop and a lighting source.’
    • ‘Sitters could not only choose their pose, but also select from a variety of costumes, backdrops and props to create a fantasy setting and transform themselves into the figure of their imaginations.’
    • ‘He could not occupy the drawer space because it was filled with the props.’
    • ‘Before recording, have your props and costumes organized and tape log sheets prepared.’
    • ‘Then they reach deeper into their bag of tricks for ever bigger props and effects.’
    • ‘The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.’
    • ‘The curtains may have shut, but no one switched you off and packed you up with props and costumes in a musty room.’
    • ‘Anita's visual interpretation using excellent lights, costumes and props makes this production an enriching experience.’
    • ‘It looks like a prop from the last Flinstones movie.’
    • ‘The cast double as stage hands, choreographed to slide props around the stage when they are not speaking or move chairs to imitate the steps of an elephant.’
    • ‘Instead, he hires models and sets up a scene with props and costumes, and then photographs them.’
    • ‘He is assisted by a set decorator, who actually builds the props.’
    • ‘Her ensuing characters are deftly created without props or costumes.’
    • ‘The pair's ambition is to make their living producing scenery, costumes and props for museums, theatres, themed bars, film and television.’
    • ‘At this point the story becomes truly curious - more than a morality tale with sparkling costumes and inventive props.’
    • ‘The group started to do ‘community cabarets,’ using costumes and props, scripts, and themes.’
    1. 1.1propsinformal, dated [treated as singular] A property man or mistress.

Origin

Mid 19th century: abbreviation of property.

Pronunciation:

prop

/prɒp/

Main definitions of prop in English

: prop1prop2prop3

prop3

noun

informal
  • An aircraft propeller.

    • ‘I was walking across a dark, busy flight deck and was heading toward turning props and moving aircraft.’
    • ‘The aircraft was heavily damaged with the prop destroyed and one wing mangled.’
    • ‘I told the flight engineer about the prop and called for an emergency shutdown of No.3.’
    • ‘Once again, the prop is used to rotate the engine and make sure that those points open and close at the correct timing marks on the crankshaft.’
    • ‘This time, immediately after takeoff, the right prop governor failed and the prop feathered.’
    • ‘We were too late trying to feather the prop - all the oil was gone.’
    • ‘Your mechanic should check the prop for nicks, chips and overall condition.’
    • ‘Fortunately, there was a heated hangar and the new prop was hung in about an hour.’
    • ‘As my speed carried me over him his prop sliced through my undercarriage, slashing the fuselage.’
    • ‘The high friction then caused the weakened propeller shaft to break and the prop tore away taking the shaft with it.’
    • ‘With an engine failure, the prop couldn't be feathered.’
    • ‘‘Shiney’ didn't have time to kill the engine before the prop bit the ground, forcing the tail of the Hurricane skywards.’
    • ‘Soon friction heat started to melt the prop's magnesium housing as the prop's gear shaft ground away at the housing.’
    • ‘The left prop stayed on but dropped off when the aircraft was picked up, I think.’
    • ‘The engine went to Sam Thompson, the prop to California Propeller and parts to other contractors.’
    • ‘In a turboprop aircraft, putting the props in the beta position creates an extraordinary speed brake.’
    • ‘Most of the aircraft have no logbooks, have run-out engines and props, and need a lot of work.’
    • ‘Soon black smoke poured from its exhaust and the prop was feathered to try and save the engine, but it was too late.’
    • ‘So there you are, rolling along the runway at full throttle, but the prop can't provide sufficient thrust as it bites into the reduced air density.’
    • ‘The No.3 engine had a prop replaced a week prior, and flight deck indicator lights now point out a malfunction.’

Origin

Early 20th century: abbreviation.

Pronunciation:

prop

/prɒp/