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


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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 Figures from the Census Bureau show that across the country, weekly applications for new businesses that plan to hire workers beyond their proprietor have been well above year-earlier levels since the beginning of summer. Peter Grant, WSJ, "New Business Owners Look Beyond Covid-19, and Winter," 16 Dec. 2020 Nor will Pierre Cardin’s sprawling fashion and merchandising juggernaut be immediately closing up shop now that the proprietor is dead. New York Times, "A Year Filled With Death Changed Lives Forever," 30 Dec. 2020 And the small shop still holds the remains of its proprietor and perhaps one of its last customers. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Archaeologists excavate ancient Roman takeout counter at Pompeii," 28 Dec. 2020 Two days before Christmas, Locker and a friend stopped at a Christmas tree lot to ask the proprietor to donate a tree for Anna. Vincent T. Davis,, "Five decades later, San Antonio’s Elf Louise is still lifting children’s spirits," 21 Dec. 2020 The location reported its busiest day in its history on Tuesday, according to proprietor Nathaniel Garber Schoen. Charles Passy, WSJ, "New Yorkers Make Last-Minute Buys Before Snowstorm," 16 Dec. 2020 The sweet aroma of cardamom fills the Kankané Café as proprietor Afaaf Naddour lays out trays of fresh-baked pastries. Nils Adler, Los Angeles Times, "Sweden took pride in its light-touch approach to the pandemic. Now it’s reconsidering," 10 Dec. 2020 The doors at Charlie’s Steak House have been closed since the untimely death of proprietor Matthew Dwyer last summer. Ian Mcnulty,, "New Orleans classic Charlie's Steak House to reopen, now led by new local chef," 9 Dec. 2020 The restaurant opened on September 21, 1953, with Tassos as sole proprietor. Paula Allen,, "Bright red barn in Alamo Heights started out as ‘country kitchen’ and retains its 1950s rustic charm," 12 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for proprietor

Time Traveler

The first known use of proprietor was in 1537

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Statistics for proprietor

Last Updated

15 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Proprietor.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for proprietor


How to pronounce proprietor (audio)

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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