Definition of proprietary in English:



  • 1Relating to an owner or ownership.

    ‘the company has a proprietary right to the property’
    • ‘One may verify and seek to replicate a published result; another may exploit the reported methods, materials, and results in order to further proprietary research.’
    • ‘Yet its staid middle-class ending fails to narrate hard work as the proprietary glue that binds owner to estate.’
    • ‘Over the past decade, the trend toward proprietary ownership of insurance and delivery systems has accelerated.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Participating owners in a proprietary shipping pool do not operate the pool themselves; they place their trust in the pool operator to do it for their benefit.’
    • ‘When every citizen is obliged to surrender DNA and a finger or retina print to a national database, it suggests that the state has some proprietary right over that information and the citizen's identity.’
    • ‘So far as one knows, there is no ownership or proprietary rights over flowing waters.’
    • ‘The initial sale exhausted the proprietary rights of the original owner of the work.’
    • ‘It was merely a gauche expression of a feeling of ownership, a childlike discovery of proprietary rights where the immediate and instinctive reaction is to take the toy apart.’
    • ‘Acknowledging the need for corporate support of research, he worried that proprietary interests are hindering science in important ways.’
    • ‘If insiders sold stock acting on proprietary knowledge that the company was failing, there are existing laws to deal with it that can require treble damages and incarceration.’
    • ‘That sense of ownership sometimes includes a proprietary attitude toward waterways abutting a Texan's land.’
    • ‘This only causes headaches for Canada, whose government sees the Northwest Passage as a proprietary waterway, as Canadian as Lake Winnipeg.’
    1. 1.1Behaving as if one owned something or someone.
      ‘he looked about him with a proprietary air’
      • ‘In particular, the ‘emphatic iron’ fence lends a proprietary air, inextricably linking the house with the family's identity.’
      • ‘The dispute produced armed conflicts over tax collection and occasional uprisings against one proprietary regime or the other.’
      • ‘She rests a proprietary hand on the man's shoulder, as if for security, and the little finger of her other hand-it almost makes you wince to see it-is extended primly.’
      • ‘Integration brokers have long suffered from being highly proprietary in nature.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He dumped the last armload of driftwood on the heap and regarded it with a proprietary air.’
      • ‘She nurses a proprietary air about the place and has a particular fetish about the driveway.’
      • ‘With an air of proprietary pride, he looks out over the nesting site of one of the world's rarest birds.’
      • ‘Arrayed in silk suits and carrying gold-handled canes, they swaggered around town with a distinctly proprietary air.’
      • ‘She has what is probably described in the TV presenting industry as an ‘In your face’ attitude, giving out lots of love, and referring to people in a proprietary style.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘Listen, kids get very proprietary about ‘their’ bands.’
  • 2(of a product) marketed under and protected by a registered trade name.

    ‘proprietary brands of insecticide’
    • ‘First, enforcement of the regulations designed to limit the number of proprietary products entering the inventory appears to have waned.’
    • ‘Those catalysts could include new products, demographic trends, proprietary products, increased market share, or a change in cost structure.’
    • ‘There's a high premium on proprietary product.’
    • ‘After all, even with the best of intentions, it's impossible to convert a proprietary product line to a standard protocol overnight.’
    • ‘The product is proprietary and relatively low priced compared with the competition's.’
    • ‘The company also uses their extensive R&D capabilities, as well as their national presence, to bring you the best, proprietary products and equipment at the best prices.’
    • ‘In your checklist, the other market-related element is the proprietary product.’
    • ‘It is a proprietary product, priced competitively.’
    • ‘The stain itself is a proprietary product made specifically for brick.’
    • ‘On the other hand, a number of firms have shown that you can run a healthy business without cornering the market with your proprietary technology.’
    • ‘Certainly a product's proprietary nature would need protecting whether contract manufacturing is done offshore or just across the street.’
    • ‘These products usually cost less than comparable proprietary products.’
    • ‘Commercial products are proprietary, and focus on immediate convenient access (rather than long-term document access).’
    • ‘The biggest securities firms, for example, continued to pay their reps more for selling proprietary products than outside ones.’
    • ‘I expect this will only continue to get worse as more and more companies attempt to ‘protect’ their proprietary products and services.’
    • ‘These products are new, patented, proprietary products and are rapidly growing because they have been introduced within the last five years.’
    • ‘I thus would personally avoid defining any of these proprietary products, in order to remain consistent.’
    • ‘You can build a proprietary product, and don't have to pass along your additions or improvements.’
    • ‘Actually it is much more likely that proprietary products do - but as no-one gets to see the code, the legal challenges are few.’
    • ‘The most obvious one is to sell unique and proprietary products to the largest number of people.’


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).