Stand up vs prop up

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Stand up and prop up are two phrases that some people find confusing. We will examine the meanings of the expressions stand up and prop up, the difference between them and some examples of their use in sentences.

Stand up is an interesting expression with several different meanings. Stand up may be used as a phrasal verb to mean that an idea or statement will remain true under vigorous examination. For instance, unshakeable testimony may be said to stand up under cross-examination. The hyphenated form, stand-up, is used as a noun to mean a solo comedian who stands before an audience and tells jokes or stories, or the routine performed by such a comedian. Stand-up is also used as an adjective to describe a person who stands by his morals, someone who defends his friends or is courageous in some manner. A stand-up guy is someone who may be counted on in difficult times.

Prop up has a literal and figurative meaning. First, prop up may simply mean to stop something from falling over by leaning some sort of weighted item against it. In a figurative sense, prop up may mean to support a person who needs help in a trying time, or to support an institution that is in danger of failing.


Hersh is also on the record as stating that the official version of the Skripal poisoning does not stand up to scrutiny. (The Independent)

Stand-up comedian and former Marine James P. Connolly takes a realistic approach to his profession. (The Park Record)

Main character Ethan Hunt (Cruise) remains a stand-up guy in a world full of betrayal; in general, the good guys are consistently willing to sacrifice themselves to save others. (The Bristol Herald-Courier)

During the 2016 election, they refused to contribute to Trump’s candidacy, noting that they would instead spend their $300 million to prop up Republican candidates in local races. (Vanity Fair)

And it should be easier for members to remove them accordingly in favour of people who would not prop up a Tory government that is leading Britain to calamity. (The Guardian)