Definitions

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

  • n. One who has legal title to something; an owner.
  • n. One who owns or owns and manages a business or other such establishment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An owner
  • n. A sole owner of an unincorporated business, also called a sole proprietor
  • n. One of the owners of an unincorporated business, a partner
  • n. One or more persons to whom a colonial territory is assigned, like a fief, including its administration

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One who has the legal right or exclusive title to anything, whether in possession or not; an owner.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. One who has the legal right or exclusive title to something; an owner: as, the proprietor of a farm or of a mill.

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

  • n. (law) someone who owns (is legal possessor of) a business

Etymologies

Probably alteration of Middle English proprietarie; see proprietary.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowed from Latin proprietor (see below), from proprietas, 'property', from proprius '(one's) own' (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • There are many comfortable-looking large houses, generally built according to the customs of the country whereof the proprietor is a native.

    Life in Mexico, During a Residence of Two Years in That Country

  • The Happy Trails proprietor is a huge Frank Zappa fan, his windows are a testament to his love ♥ This place is also linked in history to our local Stairway Denied — Zeppelin tribute band — and the Alchemist, our local independent infozine.

    Corner View – Music « Bodhicitta

  • For National Poetry Month (April, to civilians), GottaBook's proprietor is promising new work by some of the finest kids 'poets in the land.

    Chicken Spaghetti:

  • Hazel, the proprietor, is in her sixties, and it's a toss-up as to whether she's more attached to her mother or her cats.

    The Used World by Haven Kimmel: Book summary

  • Though the long-term proprietor, Julie Griffiths, hates the term, this pub high in the Chiltern hills, lays claim to being the original gastropub.

    The 20 best places to eat in Britain this summer

  • The proprietor is an interesting guy named Gilberto Penzo.

    Veniceblog:

  • A humble proletarian hotel proprietor is subsequently pole-axed by the super-structure of the capitalist means-of-production in a dramatic example of Asiatic despotism at work throughout the totality of the imperialist capitalist system.

    Libertarians Still Lusting for Palin? « Antiwar.com Blog

  • It turns out that, as has been speculated by a certain proprietor of this site for at least two weeks now, we may now be nearing proof that the Bush Junta was using its Go Go Gadget listening devices to spy on US journalists, meaning none other than Christiane Amanpour, CNN's Chief International Correspondent.

    01/06/2006

  • The proprietor is reeeeally proud of his royal heritage.

    Royal Roots in Rural Maine

  • Its proprietor is apparently having a birthday today and in honour of the occasion would like people to spread the word about the blog and 'bring new people onto the CC love train.'

    Boing Boing: July 30, 2006 - August 5, 2006 Archives

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