Meaning of “proprietary” in the English Dictionary

"proprietary" in English

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proprietaryadjective [ before noun ]

uk /prəˈpraɪə.tər.i/ us /prəˈpraɪə.ter.i/

(Definition of “proprietary” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"proprietary" in American English

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proprietaryadjective [ not gradable ]

us /prəˈprɑɪ·ɪˌter·i/

owned and legally controlled by a particular company:

This is proprietary software, and you have no right to copy it without a license from the owner.

(Definition of “proprietary” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"Proprietary" in Business English

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uk /prəˈpraɪətəri/ us /prəˈpraɪəteri/ written abbreviation Pty

LAW used in the names of companies in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa:

Tenneco Energy Australia Pty Ltd

proprietaryadjective [ before noun ]

uk /prəˈpraɪətəri/ us /prəˈpraɪəteri/

MARKETING, COMMERCE used to describe a product that is made and sold by a particular company whose name, or a name that it owns, is on the product:

The products were developed using two proprietary and patented technologies.
The company focused too heavily proprietary products as the source of competitive advantage.
a proprietary brand/name
a proprietary drug/medicine
proprietary software/systems

LAW relating to ideas or information that belong to one particular company and can only be used by them:

The equation used to produce the estimates is proprietary.

relating to an owner or to the fact of owning something:

The employees have a proprietary interest in the company.


(Definition of “Proprietary” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)