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

  • adj. Belonging, or pertaining, to a proprietor; considered as property; owned.
  • 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.

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


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)


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