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Most likely from Proto-Italic *pro- + *prijos (own, dear), from Proto-Indo-European *priHós (dear). Since pro- can hardly be explained as a nominal prefix, Forssman (2004) explains it as having been extended to the adjective from the verb propriāre, once-attested as propriāssit. Cognate to Sanskrit प्रिय (priyá, dear), Russian прия́тель (prijátelʹ, buddy, mate) and Russian прия́тный (prijátnyj, pleasant), Welsh rhydd (free), English free.[1]

Other suggestions include:





proprius (feminine propria, neuter proprium); first/second-declension adjective

  1. appropriate to oneself: (one's) proper, (one's) own (inalienably)
  2. belonging to oneself as property, or goods: (one's) own (alienably)
    • 405 CE, Jerome, Vulgate Proverbs.11.24:
      aliī dīvidunt propria et dītiōrēs fīunt aliī rapiunt nōn sua et semper in egestāte sunt
      Some distribute their own goods, and grow richer: others take away what is not their own, and are always in want. (Douay-Rheims trans., Challoner rev.: 1752 CE)
  3. particular to one individual, group, or case: characteristic, distinctive, eccentric, idiosyncratic, individual, specialized
  4. not shared with others: personal, private, exclusive
    Antonym: commūnis
  5. (of activities) proper to, characteristic of a given set of persons or things
  6. (of words) proper, literal, strict
    Antonyms: trā(ns)lāticius, trā(ns)lātus
    1. concrete, specific
    2. used of proper nouns



First/second-declension adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masculine Feminine Neuter Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative proprius propria proprium propriī propriae propria
Genitive propriī propriae propriī propriōrum propriārum propriōrum
Dative propriō propriō propriīs
Accusative proprium propriam proprium propriōs propriās propria
Ablative propriō propriā propriō propriīs
Vocative proprie propria proprium propriī propriae propria

Derived terms




See also



  1. ^ De Vaan, Michiel (2008) “proprius”, in Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series; 7), Leiden, Boston: Brill, →ISBN, page 493

Further reading

  • proprius”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • proprius”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • proprius in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • proprius in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.
  • Carl Meißner, Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[1], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • the proper term; a word used strictly: vocabulum proprium
    • something is a characteristic of a man: aliquid est proprium alicuius