\ 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 Firearm background checks compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a proxy for gun purchases, jumped to a record in June as street demonstrations spread around the U.S. Fortune, "Gun sales are off the charts," 2 July 2020 Pakistani officials have long accused India of supporting the BLA as a proxy group, and that accusation was leveled again after the attack on the stock exchange. Salman Masood,, "Gunmen wage deadly battle at Pakistan stock exchange," 29 June 2020 The Trump administration is taking a soft-spoken approach in part out of deference, observers say, to India’s sensitivity about being perceived as a U.S. proxy in this dispute. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "Border violence could spur India to help US counter China," 18 June 2020 Other experts cautioned against approving a vaccine based on a proxy. Caroline Chen, ProPublica, "“Fast-Tracking” a Coronavirus Vaccine Sounds Great. It’s Not That Simple.," 17 June 2020 But white Americans spend more on health care than Black Americans even when their health situations are identical, making spending a poor and racially biased proxy for health. Sharon Begley, STAT, "Racial bias skews algorithms widely used to guide care from heart surgery to birth, study finds," 17 June 2020 The House voted in May to establish rules allowing members to vote by proxy. Christal Hayes, USA TODAY, "Republican Rep. Tom Rice, and his wife and son, test positive for COVID-19," 16 June 2020 That’s a good proxy of the economic impact of the lockdown. Dallas News, "How to survive the COVID economy? Tenet Healthcare cut jobs, stockpiled cash and PPE, and tapped Uncle Sam big time," 16 June 2020 Sulfur content can be considered a rough proxy for other pollution that causes lung damage, says Matthew Loxham, a respiratory specialist at the University of Southampton in the U.K. Alejandra Borunda, National Geographic, "As oil prices crashed, tankers idled off California—spewing pollution for weeks," 12 June 2020

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

6 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Proxy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for proxy


How to pronounce proxy (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on proxy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for proxy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with proxy

Spanish Central: Translation of proxy

Nglish: Translation of proxy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of proxy for Arabic Speakers

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