the owner of a business establishment, a hotel, etc.
a person who has the exclusive right or title to something; an owner, as of real property.
a group of proprietors; proprietary.

Origin of proprietor

First recorded in 1630–40; propriet(ary) + -or2
Related formspro·pri·e·to·ri·al [pruh-prahy-i-tawr-ee-uh l, -tohr-] /prəˌpraɪ ɪˈtɔr i əl, -ˈtoʊr-/, adjectivepro·pri·e·to·ri·al·ly, adverbpro·pri·e·tor·ship, nounnon·pro·pri·e·tor, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for proprietor

owner, holder, possessor, proprietary, freeholder, titleholder

Examples from the Web for proprietor

Contemporary Examples of proprietor

Historical Examples of proprietor

  • Stepping into the store, he attracted the attention of the proprietor.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • The State authority was to be the purchaser, and the occupier was to be the proprietor.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • The lawyer's brows were knit as he faced the proprietor of the store.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • This proprietor was a man of great opulence, and a relative of Naomi.

  • Would it be possible for me to speak to the proprietor a moment?

    The Fortune Hunter

    Louis Joseph Vance

British Dictionary definitions for proprietor



an owner of an unincorporated business enterprise
a person enjoying exclusive right of ownership to some property
US history a governor or body of governors of a proprietary colony
Derived Formsproprietorship, nounproprietorial (prəˌpraɪəˈtɔːrɪəl), adjectiveproprietress or proprietrix, fem n
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

Word Origin and History for proprietor

1630s, "owner, by royal grant, of an American colony," probably from proprietary (n.) in sense "property owner" (late 15c., see proprietary). In general sense of "one who holds something as property" it is attested from 1640s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper