Define: Proprietary

Business, Legal & Accounting Glossary

Definition: Proprietary

Quick Summary of Proprietary

Privately owned and controlled. This can refer to a property, concept or process. The owner is given with exclusive rights.

What is the dictionary definition of Proprietary?

Dictionary Definition

Relating to an owner or ownership.

  1. Of or relating to property or ownership, as proprietary rights.
  2. Of or relating to the quality of being an owner, as the proprietary class.
  3. Created or manufactured exclusively by the owner of intellectual property rights, as with a patent or trade secret.
  4. Nonstandard and used only by one particular organization, as a proprietary extension to a standard.
  5. Privately owned, as a proprietary lake.
  6. Possessive, jealous, or territorial.
  7. A proprietor or owner.
  8. A body of proprietors, taken collectively.
  9. A monk who had reserved goods and belongings to himself, notwithstanding his renunciation of all at the time of profession.


Examples of Proprietary in a sentence

All of the software company’s internal department manuals are proprietary and confidential.
The CTO recommended that the company secure the patent on their proprietary business system, so that it could be developed in the future into a marketable product.
The continuous profitability of the company is based on its many proprietary products.

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Proprietary. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. April 06, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Proprietary. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: April 06, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Proprietary. Retrieved April 06, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Proprietary are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 15th February, 2020