I am trying to come up with a word that means something is intended to be used with something else, like "proprietary" without the legal connotation, for example after-market car parts. They're not proprietary, but they will only fit an '89 Cutlass, etc.

"Intended" is too broad, "integrated", "co-engineered", "related", "matching", "custom" all miss the mark.

"The Widget Co fasteners only work with these hinges, they're proprietary".

Edit more info:

Thanks FumbleFingers for "dedicated to/specifically made for", that is the right idea. I want to boil it to one word (if it's out there) to use in as a bullet point or - if I'm lucky - a mnemonic.

  • 2
    A bolt-on, for example, is something added to a ​main ​product, ​service, or ​plan as a ​smaller, ​extra ​part or ​feature, ​especially in ​business. For your context I think you'd be better of with a phrase, such as ...they're dedicated to/specifically made for this job. Dec 15, 2015 at 21:19
  • 1
    Technically, ad hoc would work, but it carries the wrong connotation.
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 15, 2015 at 21:31
  • 4
    I would use product-specific, even though it isn't the kind of simple term you would prefer. Many third-party accessories for particular editions of Apple products, for example, are identified as iPhone 6S–specific, iMac Reina–specific, or the like, when they are designed to work with only a particular model of a product. As FumbleFingers observes, the word dedicated indicates a similar specificity of functionality and may be a better choice in certain contexts.
    – Sven Yargs
    Dec 15, 2015 at 21:54
  • +1 for "specific". Definition: having a special application, bearing, or reference; relating to one thing and not others; ​particular.
    – Graffito
    Dec 15, 2015 at 22:19
  • They're probably too similar to "matching," which you say doesn't work, but "..., they're matched" or " ... they're paired" are pretty close, I think.
    – Papa Poule
    Dec 15, 2015 at 22:33

3 Answers 3


I would use specialized. "The Widget Co fasteners are specialized for these hinges, they work only with them" or "The Widget Co fasteners work only with these hinges, they're specialized".

  • "specialty" is another word, but it would refer to a tight range of products - where specialized might be better if they are more single application ? Like: Acme Refrirator supply makes specialty hardware for use within low temperature freezer boxes, including specialized intake valves for each brand and model number.
    – Tom22
    Jun 7, 2018 at 17:54

You could consider using tailor-made which means the following:

Made, adapted, or suited for a particular purpose or person

Also unique:

Being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else:

[Oxford Online Dictionary]

The Widget Co fasteners only work with these hinges, they're tailor-made/unique.


ad hoc (adj & adv), according to Oxford Dictionary Online:

formed, arranged, or done for a particular purpose only

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.