\ ˈpräk-sē How to pronounce proxy (audio) \
plural proxies

Definition of proxy

1 : the agency, function, or office of a deputy who acts as a substitute for another
2a : authority or power to act for another
b : a document giving such authority specifically : a power of attorney authorizing a specified person to vote corporate stock
3 : a person authorized to act for another : procurator

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Other Words from proxy

proxy adjective

Proxies and Proxy Servers

Proxy comes from a contracted form of the Middle English word procuracie (meaning “procuration”). A proxy may refer to a person who is authorized to act for another or it may designate the function or authority of serving in another’s stead. In the latter sense, it generally is preceded by the word by (“vote by proxy”).

Proxy has recently taken on meanings in computing, where it is found in such phrases as proxy server, a computer system that facilitates the exchange of data between users on a network.

Examples of proxy in a Sentence

Since I wouldn't be available to vote, I nominated him to act as my proxy. sent a proxy to the meeting to cast his vote for him
Recent Examples on the Web Free cash flow—a measure of the cash a company generates from operations, and viewed by many investors as a proxy for performance—was €41 million, a €61 million increase from the year-earlier quarter which was dragged lower by licenser payments. Anne Steele, WSJ, "Spotify Adds Subscribers, Says Joe Rogan Drawing More Users Than Expected," 28 Apr. 2021 There is also no relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities as a proxy for social capital and bond spreads. Bhakti Mirchandani, Forbes, "Materiality Across Asset Classes: A Look At Fixed Income ESG Integration," 28 Apr. 2021 This is a trust utterly abused by fringe figures, who present qualifications as a proxy for scientific validity. David Robert Grimes, Scientific American, "COVID Has Created a Perfect Storm for Fringe Science," 26 Apr. 2021 Vyas says using race as a proxy for these disparities in clinical algorithms can also create a vicious cycle. Jacque Smith, CNN, "Black or 'Other'? Doctors may be relying on race to make decisions about your health," 25 Apr. 2021 The defense also alleges the border officers acted as a proxy for the RCMP. Jim Morris, Star Tribune, "Justice lawyer says it was OK to border screen Huawei exec," 24 Mar. 2021 Oprah prodded, again acting as proxy for the befuddled American viewer. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, "The Rigorous Empathy of “Oprah with Meghan and Harry”," 8 Mar. 2021 Ted takes up only one seat, but could one day serve as a proxy for thousands of listeners. Washington Post, "How a mannequin head could revolutionize how orchestras and audiences come together," 2 Mar. 2021 The work focused on the early stages of the pandemic, using international travel data for 2018 as a proxy for 2020 data before international travel restrictions were imposed. Jody Harrison, USA TODAY, "International travel had 'major impact on first wave death rates,' Scottish study finds," 4 Feb. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'proxy.' 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 proxy

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for proxy

Middle English proxi, procucie, contraction of procuracie, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin procuratia, alteration of Latin procuratio procuration

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Time Traveler for proxy

Time Traveler

The first known use of proxy was in the 15th century

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Statistics for proxy

Last Updated

8 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Proxy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for proxy



English Language Learners Definition of proxy

: a person who is given the power or authority to do something (such as to vote) for someone else
: power or authority that is given to allow a person to act for someone else


\ ˈpräk-sē How to pronounce proxy (audio) \
plural proxies

Kids Definition of proxy

1 : authority to act for another or a paper giving such authority
2 : a person with authority to act for another


\ ˈpräk-sē How to pronounce proxy (audio) \
plural proxies

Legal Definition of proxy

1 : the act or practice of a person serving as an authorized agent or substitute for another used especially in the phrase by proxy
2a : authority or power to act for another
b : a statement or document giving such authorization specifically : an oral consent or written document (as a power of attorney) given by a stockholder to a specified person or persons to vote corporate stock
3a : a person authorized to act or make decisions for another appointed a health-care proxy
b : something serving to replace or substitute for another thing

History and Etymology for proxy

Middle English procucie, contraction of procuracie, from Anglo-French, from Medieval Latin procuratia, alteration of Latin procuratio appointment of another as one's agent

More from Merriam-Webster on proxy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for proxy

Nglish: Translation of proxy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of proxy for Arabic Speakers

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