Definition of proprietary in English:

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Pronunciation: /prəˈprʌɪət(ə)ri/


1Relating to an owner or ownership: the company has a proprietary right to the property
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  • So far as one knows, there is no ownership or proprietary rights over flowing waters.
  • The common law tradition posed fewer difficulties for the Crown as long as its vocabulary was informed by ideas of feudal tenure rather than proprietary ownership.
  • That sense of ownership sometimes includes a proprietary attitude toward waterways abutting a Texan's land.
1.1Behaving as if one owned something or someone: he looked about him with a proprietary air
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  • ‘They don't have anything like bouncy castles here,’ says Louise, striding with a proprietary air through the long grass of what one day soon will be their own mini theme park.
  • As a senior member of the men's group that wandered in and out of the café all day, he nursed a kind of proprietary air about the place.
  • She nurses a proprietary air about the place and has a particular fetish about the driveway.
2(Of a product) marketed under and protected by a registered trade name: proprietary brands of insecticide
More example sentences
  • Those catalysts could include new products, demographic trends, proprietary products, increased market share, or a change in cost structure.
  • I expect this will only continue to get worse as more and more companies attempt to ‘protect’ their proprietary products and services.
  • There's a high premium on proprietary product.


Late Middle English (as a noun denoting a member of a religious order who held property): from late Latin proprietarius 'proprietor', from proprietas (see property).

  • property from Middle English:

    Latin proprius, ‘one's own, special, particular’, source of proper (Middle English), developed an abstract noun proprietas ‘ownership’ which is not only the source of property, but of proprietary (Late Middle English), proprietor (mid 16th century), and propriety (Late Middle English). Appropriate, from a Latin word using ad- ‘to’, here in the sense ‘making [one's own]’ is from the same root.

Words that rhyme with proprietary


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: pro¦pri|etary

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