[ pruh-prahy-i-ter-ee ]
See synonyms for proprietary on
  1. belonging to a proprietor.

  2. being a proprietor; holding property: the proprietary class.

  1. pertaining to property or ownership: proprietary wealth.

  2. belonging or controlled as property.

  3. (of a brand name, product, service, formula, etc.) protected by a patent, copyright, or trademark: proprietary drugs; a proprietary name; a proprietary logo; a proprietary blend of ingredients.

  4. privately owned and operated for profit: proprietary hospitals.

noun,plural pro·pri·e·tar·ies.
  1. an owner or proprietor.

  2. a body of proprietors.

  1. American History. the grantee or owner, or one of the grantees or owners, of a proprietary colony.

  2. something owned, especially real estate.

  3. a proprietary medicine.

  4. Also called proprietary school . a school organized as a profit-making venture primarily to teach vocational skills or self-improvement techniques.

Origin of proprietary

1400–50; late Middle English (noun) <Medieval Latin proprietārius owner, noun use of Late Latin: of an owner, of ownership. See propriety, -ary

Other words from proprietary

  • pro·pri·e·tar·i·ly [pruh-prahy-i-tair-i-lee, -prahy-i-ter-], /prəˌpraɪ ɪˈtɛər ɪ li, -ˈpraɪ ɪˌtɛr-/, adverb
  • non·pro·pri·e·tar·y, adjective, noun, plural non·pro·pri·e·tar·ies.

Words Nearby proprietary Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use proprietary in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for proprietary


/ (prəˈpraɪɪtərɪ, -trɪ) /

  1. of, relating to, or belonging to property or proprietors

  2. privately owned and controlled

  1. med of or denoting a drug or agent manufactured and distributed under a trade name: Compare ethical (def. 3)

nounplural -taries
  1. med a proprietary drug or agent

  2. a proprietor or proprietors collectively

    • right to property

    • property owned

  1. Also called: lord proprietary (in Colonial America) an owner, governor, or grantee of a proprietary colony

Origin of proprietary

C15: from Late Latin proprietārius an owner, from proprius one's own

Derived forms of proprietary

  • proprietarily, adverb

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012