According to the Oxford dictionary the verb "shore up" means, support or hold up something with props or beams. However this acceptation can be expressed with "prop up". So I struggle to grasp the slightest of difference between these verbs.

I know that "shore up" may be used figuratively to say give support to anything that would otherwise fail or decline. So apparently shore up has a larger meaning. I want to know the context where either of these verbs is used.

example: shore up a building vs prop up a building (what is the difference)

  • Some example sentences would be helpful to define your issue better. Both terms have other meanings.
    – user3169
    Jan 29, 2017 at 18:11
  • Shore up suggests reinforce; there is already some support, and the beams, etc. add to it. Prop up suggests that the props are the only support.
    – verbose
    Jan 30, 2017 at 1:30

1 Answer 1


shoring up something

is to reinforce the base for better support

propping up is one method of shoring up something

using "props" or beams. One can also

prop open a door

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