proprietary


1pro·pri·e·tary

noun \prə-ˈprī-ə-ˌter-ē\
plural pro·pri·e·tar·ies

Definition of PROPRIETARY

1
:  one that possesses, owns, or holds exclusive right to something; specifically :  proprietor 1
2
:  something that is used, produced, or marketed under exclusive legal right of the inventor or maker; specifically :  a drug (as a patent medicine) that is protected by secrecy, patent, or copyright against free competition as to name, product, composition, or process of manufacture
3
:  a business secretly owned by and run as a cover for an intelligence organization

Origin of PROPRIETARY

Middle English propietarie, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin propietarius, from Late Latin, adjective (see 2proprietary)
First Known Use: 15th century

2pro·pri·e·tary

adjective \prə-ˈprī-ə-ˌter-ē\

: of or like that of an owner

: used, made, or sold only by the particular person or company that has the legal right to do so

: kept private by an owner

Full Definition of PROPRIETARY

1
:  of, relating to, or characteristic of an owner or title holder <proprietary rights>
2
:  used, made, or marketed by one having the exclusive legal right <a proprietary process> <proprietary software>
3
:  privately owned and managed and run as a profit-making organization <a proprietary clinic>

Examples of PROPRIETARY

  1. The investors have a proprietary interest in the land.
  2. The computer comes with the manufacturer's proprietary software.
  3. Merriam-Webster is a proprietary name.
  4. The journalist tried to get access to proprietary information.
  5. By allowing less favorable results to remain buried, the agency puts proprietary interests ahead of the public interest, and doctors and the public come to believe prescription drugs are better than they are. That should stop. —Marcia Angell, New York Review of Books, 8 June 2006

Origin of PROPRIETARY

Late Latin proprietarius, from Latin proprietas property — more at property
First Known Use: 1589

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