pro·​pri·​e·​tor | \ prə-ˈprī-ə-tər How to pronounce proprietor (audio) \

Definition of proprietor

1 : one granted ownership of a colony (such as one of the original American colonies) and full prerogatives of establishing a government and distributing land
2a : a person who has the legal right or exclusive title to something : owner
b : one having an interest (such as control or present use) less than absolute and exclusive right

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Synonyms for proprietor


holder, owner, possessor

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Examples of proprietor in a Sentence

She is the proprietor of the store. the proprietor of a used-car dealership

Recent Examples on the Web

Jodie Foster is the proprietor, and Sterling K. Brown and Sofia Boutella are among the guests. Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, "Summer 2018 Movie Release Schedule," 4 May 2018 The new proprietors hosted a grand reopening to introduce its new design and special event capabilities to about 600 guests, most of whom were in the local catering and special events industries. Richard Chang,, "Yost Theater reclaims some of its Art Deco history in its latest renovation," 5 Apr. 2018 However, chef and proprietor Mason Hereford’s obsession with ingredients and deconstructing his childhood comfort foods make even these basic sammies incredibly special. Paul Oswell, Condé Nast Traveler, "21 Best Restaurants in New Orleans," 28 Feb. 2018 Ashley Christensen is the chef and proprietor of AC Restaurants, which includes Poole’s, Beasley’s Chicken + Honey, Chuck’s, Fox Liquor Bar, Death & Taxes, and Bridge Club. Anne Roderique-jones, USA TODAY, "Made in North Carolina: Flavors only found in Raleigh," 30 Jan. 2018 The groom’s father is a proprietor and the chief executive of the Alta Lodge. New York Times, "Tess Reed, Samuel Dippo," 8 July 2018 Pass-through businesses such as S corporations, partnerships and sole proprietors pass their earnings through to their owners, who pay personal income taxes on them. Hillary Borrud,, "Knute Buehler calls on Kate Brown to veto Democrats' tax plan," 6 Mar. 2018 By the entrance, there's that definitive proof of a French restaurant's quality: a picture of the proprietor with Jacques Chirac, former French president and noted gourmand. Will Hawkes,, "A fearless foodie's foray into the bouchons of Lyon, France," 19 Mar. 2018 In the late seventies, the bar came under the ownership of the proprietor of a now defunct Bronx alehouse called the Liffy, like the river. David Kortava, The New Yorker, "Guinness Poured by an Irishman at Inwood’s The Liffy II," 9 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proprietor.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of proprietor

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for proprietor

alteration of proprietary entry 1

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Statistics for proprietor

Last Updated

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proprietor

The first known use of proprietor was in 1537

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More Definitions for proprietor



English Language Learners Definition of proprietor

formal : a person who owns a business or property


pro·​pri·​e·​tor | \ prə-ˈprī-ə-tər How to pronounce proprietor (audio) \

Kids Definition of proprietor

: a person who owns something : owner


pro·​pri·​e·​tor | \ prə-ˈprī-ə-tər How to pronounce proprietor (audio) \

Legal Definition of proprietor

: one who has legal right or exclusive title to something : owner also : one (as a lessee) having an interest (as control or present use) less than absolute or exclusive right

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Comments on proprietor

What made you want to look up proprietor? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a strong desire or propensity

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