proxy

noun \ ˈpräk-sē \
Updated on: 13 Oct 2017

Definition of proxy

plural proxies
1 :the agency, function, or office of a deputy who acts as a substitute for another
2 a :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

proxy

adjective

Examples of proxy in a Sentence

  1. Since I wouldn't be available to vote, I nominated him to act as my proxy.

  2. sent a proxy to the meeting to cast his vote for him

Recent Examples of proxy from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of proxy

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


Financial Definition of PROXY

proxy

What It Is

A proxy is the common name for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Form 14-A (the "proxy statement"), which is the document containing the voting ballot and material information related to the propositions to be determined.

How It Works

The definition of proxy on InvestingAnswersShareholders in corporations have the right to vote on matters such as electing directors, selecting an auditor, approving a merger, or selling the company. The SEC requires public companies to file proxy statements prior to the companies' annual shareholder meetings; the objective is to inform shareholders of the meeting, what matters are up for a vote, and instructions for voting. The proxy statement contains background information so that shareholders can make informed voting decisions. Proxy statements often reveal the relationships between board members and management (i.e., family ties, prior professional relationships, etc.)

Shareholders can vote by mailing their ballots; they don't have to attend the company's annual meeting or vote in person. In many cases, shareholders don't actually receive a proxy statement in the mail if they own shares indirectly, as is the case with mutual funds (in that situation, shareholders own shares of the mutual fund rather than shares of the underlying assets).

Investors who hold shares in street name (that is, the shares are registered to the investor's brokerage firm rather than in his or her own name) might also not receive proxies. In these cases, the fund manager or brokerage firm is the actual shareholder in the eyes of the company, and they receive the proxy statement and can vote the shares. These representatives are responsible for voting the shares in the best interest of their investors, and in many cases, a mutual fund is a sizeable shareholder--its vote may have a significant impact on the company.

Why It Matters

One of the most basic rights of shareholders is the right to vote. The proxy and the voting process it is associated with are manifestations of this most fundamental right. Shareholders are the owners of a company, and they can use their votes to influence a company, sometimes against management's wishes. These are called callable preferred stock fights.

One type of information that is often of particular interest is management compensation data. Companies must disclose how much particular executives are making and how those executives are compensated. For example, a proxy may disclose that a CEO is bonused a certain amount when the company achieves a certain percentage of customer growth; this is helpful to shareholders because it might explain why the CEO is focused on advertising campaigns rather than infrastructure or product development.


PROXY Defined for English Language Learners

proxy

noun

Definition of proxy for English Language Learners

  • : 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


PROXY Defined for Kids

proxy

noun \ ˈpräk-sē \

Definition of proxy for Students

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

Law Dictionary

proxy

noun \ ˈpräk-sē \

legal Definition of proxy

plural proxies
1 :the act or practice of a person serving as an authorized agent or substitute for another used especially in the phrase by proxy
2 a :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
3 a :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

Origin and Etymology of 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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