Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of, relating to, or suggestive of a proprietor or to proprietors as a group: had proprietary rights; behaved with a proprietary air in his friend's house.
  • adj. Exclusively owned; private: a proprietary hospital.
  • adj. Owned by a private individual or corporation under a trademark or patent: a proprietary drug.
  • n. A proprietor.
  • n. A group of proprietors.
  • n. Ownership; proprietorship.
  • n. A proprietary medicine.
  • n. One granted ownership of a proprietary colony.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or relating to property or ownership, as proprietary rights.
  • adj. Of or relating to the quality of being an owner, as the proprietary class.
  • adj. Manufactured exclusively by the owner of intellectual property rights (IPR), as with a patent or trade secret.
  • adj. Privately owned, as a proprietary lake.
  • adj. Possessive, jealous, or territorial.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A proprietor or owner; one who has exclusive title to a thing; one who possesses, or holds the title to, a thing in his own right.
  • n. A body proprietors, taken collectively.
  • n. A monk who had reserved goods and effects to himself, notwithstanding his renunciation of all at the time of profession.
  • adj. Belonging, or pertaining, to a proprietor; considered as property; owned.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Belonging to a proprietor or owner; of or pertaining to property or ownership: as, proprietary rights.
  • n. One who has exclusive title; one who possesses or holds the title to a thing in his own right; an owner; a proprietor; specifically, in American colonial history, the grantee or owner, or one of the owners, of one of those colonies called proprietary colonies (in distinction from charter colonies and royal colonies or provinces). See colony, 1.
  • n. A body of proprietors collectively: as, the proprietary of a county.
  • n. The right of proprietor; ownership.
  • n. In monasteries, a monk who had reserved goods and effects to himself, not withstanding his renunciation of all at the time of his profession.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. protected by trademark or patent or copyright; made or produced or distributed by one having exclusive rights
  • n. an unincorporated business owned by a single person who is responsible for its liabilities and entitled to its profits

Etymologies

From Middle English proprietarie, owner of property, from Old French proprietaire and from Medieval Latin proprietārius, both from Late Latin, of a property owner, from Latin proprietās, ownership; see property.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French propriétaire, from Latin proprietarius. Compare with the Latin proprietas ("property"), and proprius ("ownership"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But after Lehman went bankrupt, former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker often talked about proprietary trading at banks, and the term "proprietary" became confusing (to say nothing of, dare we say, sullied.) "They wanted to distinguish what they do from other firms that use the term proprietary trading," explains Overdahl.

    High-Frequency Traders Get A New Name

  • Most mother boards for laptops are what they call proprietary, meaning that each company that make laptop mother boards have a unique configuration for the Ram slots and cpu location, etc.

    Yahoo! Answers: Latest Questions

  • That's long been a sticking point in the debate, with companies expressing reluctance to publicly disclose what they call their proprietary fracking cocktails, and environmental groups and other opponents calling that reluctance a specious attempt to frustrate efforts that would link the chemical formulas to groundwater contamination.

    Mark Ruffalo: It's Time To Move On From Fracking And Fossil Fuels

  • The company uses what it calls a proprietary "closed-cell resin material" called Croslite to create pliable, lightweight, nonmarking and odor-resistant shoes that mold to fit the wearer's feet.

    Kick Around This IPOKick Around The Crocs IPO

  • "proprietary" became confusing (to say nothing of, dare we say, sullied.) "They wanted to distinguish what they do from other firms that use the term proprietary trading," explains

    Forbes.com: News

  • Another disadvantage of e-readers is the built-in proprietary content.

    Books, Ebooks and the Environment « Tales from the Reading Room

  • Large U.S. banks have already been forced to close profitable businesses such as trading with their own funds, or what is known as proprietary trading.

    Goldman's Conundrum For 2012

  • The "multiple standards which ensure interoperability at zero cost" is a nice Trojan Horse to sneak in proprietary standards.

    Draft on open source standards splits IT industry: Economic Times Report

  • If this data is stored in proprietary formats, it will prove expensive for the country in the long-term.

    Archive 2009-07-03

  • At Morgan Stanley, the main proprietary-trading unit might be spun off over several years, with the company maintaining a minority stake at first, according to a person familiar with the matter.

    BofA Cuts Proprietary-Trading Jobs

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