Definition of proprietary in English:



  • 1Relating to an owner or ownership.

    ‘the company has a proprietary right to the property’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The initial sale exhausted the proprietary rights of the original owner of the work.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Yet its staid middle-class ending fails to narrate hard work as the proprietary glue that binds owner to estate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Over the past decade, the trend toward proprietary ownership of insurance and delivery systems has accelerated.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This only causes headaches for Canada, whose government sees the Northwest Passage as a proprietary waterway, as Canadian as Lake Winnipeg.’
    • ‘Acknowledging the need for corporate support of research, he worried that proprietary interests are hindering science in important ways.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 (of a product) marketed under and protected by a registered trade name.
      ‘proprietary brands of insecticide’
      • ‘The biggest securities firms, for example, continued to pay their reps more for selling proprietary products than outside ones.’
      • ‘In your checklist, the other market-related element is the proprietary product.’
      • ‘I expect this will only continue to get worse as more and more companies attempt to ‘protect’ their proprietary products and services.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Those catalysts could include new products, demographic trends, proprietary products, increased market share, or a change in cost structure.’
      • ‘The product is proprietary and relatively low priced compared with the competition's.’
      • ‘There's a high premium on proprietary product.’
      • ‘First, enforcement of the regulations designed to limit the number of proprietary products entering the inventory appears to have waned.’
      • ‘Certainly a product's proprietary nature would need protecting whether contract manufacturing is done offshore or just across the street.’
      • ‘You can build a proprietary product, and don't have to pass along your additions or improvements.’
      • ‘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).’
      • ‘After all, even with the best of intentions, it's impossible to convert a proprietary product line to a standard protocol overnight.’
      • ‘These products are new, patented, proprietary products and are rapidly growing because they have been introduced within the last five years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The most obvious one is to sell unique and proprietary products to the largest number of people.’
      • ‘It is a proprietary product, priced competitively.’
      • ‘The stain itself is a proprietary product made specifically for brick.’
      • ‘Actually it is much more likely that proprietary products do - but as no-one gets to see the code, the legal challenges are few.’
      • ‘I thus would personally avoid defining any of these proprietary products, in order to remain consistent.’
    2. 1.2 Behaving as if one were the owner of someone or something.
      ‘he looked about him with a proprietary air’
      • ‘He dumped the last armload of driftwood on the heap and regarded it with a proprietary air.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Listen, kids get very proprietary about ‘their’ bands.’
      • ‘Integration brokers have long suffered from being highly proprietary in nature.’
      • ‘With an air of proprietary pride, he looks out over the nesting site of one of the world's rarest birds.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘In particular, the ‘emphatic iron’ fence lends a proprietary air, inextricably linking the house with the family's identity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She nurses a proprietary air about the place and has a particular fetish about the driveway.’
      • ‘Arrayed in silk suits and carrying gold-handled canes, they swaggered around town with a distinctly proprietary air.’
      • ‘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.’


  • 1An owner; proprietor.

    1. 1.1historical Especially in North America, a grantee or owner of a colony who has been granted, as an individual or as part of a group, the full rights of self-government.


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).