[ pruh-prahy-i-ter ]
/ prəˈpraɪ ɪ tər /


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 proprietorship

British Dictionary definitions for proprietorship


/ (prəˈpraɪətə) /


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 proprietorship



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