9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[pruh-prahy-i-ter-ee] /prəˈpraɪ ɪˌtɛr i/
belonging to a proprietor.
being a proprietor; holding property:
the proprietary class.
pertaining to property or ownership:
proprietary wealth.
belonging or controlled as property.
manufactured and sold only by the owner of the patent, formula, brand name, or trademark associated with the product:
proprietary medicine.
privately owned and operated for profit:
proprietary hospitals.
noun, plural proprietaries.
an owner or proprietor.
a body of proprietors.
American History. the grantee or owner, or one of the grantees or owners, of a proprietary colony.
something owned, especially real estate.
a proprietary medicine.
Also called proprietary school. a school organized as a profit-making venture primarily to teach vocational skills or self-improvement techniques.
Origin of proprietary
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English (noun) < Medieval Latin proprietārius owner, noun use of Late Latin: of an owner, of ownership. See propriety, -ary
Related forms
[pruh-prahy-i-tair-i-lee, -prahy-i-ter-] /prəˌpraɪ ɪˈtɛər ɪ li, -ˈpraɪ ɪˌtɛr-/ (Show IPA),
nonproprietary, adjective, noun, plural nonproprietaries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for proprietary
  • For a business, that information would be proprietary.
  • Ending proprietary funding, end closed research results, restore peer review.
  • The present way of proprietary, closed non-peer reviewed licensed results reeks.
  • PCs used to be a crucial part of any big, corporate technology purchase because they were expensive and proprietary.
  • Pharmaceutical firms are profit-making enterprises, which often earn huge profits from proprietary drugs.
  • All data is non-proprietary, and can be used by anyone.
  • But it has refused to divulge the full chemical composition, calling it proprietary information.
  • But such devices often require costly proprietary communication networks.
  • The details are proprietary, but it's a combination of metallurgy and the process that allows us to do it.
  • Yet it protects the proprietary routing instructions that differentiate one company's hardware from another.
British Dictionary definitions for proprietary


/prəˈpraɪɪtərɪ; -trɪ/
of, relating to, or belonging to property or proprietors
privately owned and controlled
(med) of or denoting a drug or agent manufactured and distributed under a trade name Compare ethical (sense 3)
noun (pl) -taries
(med) a proprietary drug or agent
a proprietor or proprietors collectively
  1. right to property
  2. property owned
Also called lord proprietary. (in Colonial America) an owner, governor, or grantee of a proprietary colony
Derived Forms
proprietarily, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Late Latin proprietārius an owner, from proprius one's own
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
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Word Origin and History for proprietary

mid-15c., "possessing worldly goods in excess of a cleric's needs," from Medieval Latin proprietarius "owner of property," noun use of Late Latin adjective proprietarius "of a property holder," from Latin proprietas "owner" (see property). Meaning "held in private ownership" is first attested 1580s. The word was used earlier in English as a noun meaning "proprietor," also "worldly person" (c.1400), from a noun use in French and Medieval Latin.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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proprietary in Medicine

proprietary pro·pri·e·tar·y (prə-prī'ĭ-těr'ē)

  1. Exclusively owned, as of a hospital.

  2. Owned by an individual or corporation under a trademark or patent, as of a drug.

A proprietary medicine.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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proprietary in Technology

1. In marketroid-speak, superior; implies a product imbued with exclusive magic by the unmatched brilliance of the company's own hardware or software designers.
2. In the language of hackers and users, inferior; implies a product not conforming to open-systems standards, and thus one that puts the customer at the mercy of a vendor who can inflate service and upgrade charges after the initial sale has locked the customer in.
[Jargon File]
The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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