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

Examples from the Web for proprietorial

Contemporary Examples of proprietorial

Historical Examples of proprietorial

  • He cared for her not at all; he was sure she cared for him only in the proprietorial sense.

    Ladies and Gentlemen 

    Irvin S. (Irvin Shrewsbury) Cobb

  • "Mrs. Bassett," he said softly, lingering on the proprietorial term.

  • Saying what he said next, he continued to whisper, but in his whisper was a suggestion of the proprietorial tone.

    From Place to Place

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • He spoke with a proprietorial air as one might of a household pet, pronouncing the name of his city Louie.

    The Rosie World

    Parker Fillmore

  • She could follow his fortunes—she could openly be his friend—she felt a kind of claim on him and proprietorial right over him.

    The Dictator

    Justin McCarthy

British Dictionary definitions for proprietorial



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 proprietorial



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