\ 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 Chelsea, its ambitions aligned with those two, will benefit by proxy. New York Times, 27 May 2021 From Janet Hook: Just months after Biden won the presidency on a wave of anti-Trump sentiment, a rematch by proxy is shaping up in Virginia, where voters are set to choose between an establishment Democrat and an outsider Republican for governor. Noah Bierman, Los Angeles Times, 26 May 2021 Several Republicans have openly balked at House rules regarding masks and other means of precaution, like proxy voting, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has continued to insist that ongoing vigilance is necessary. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, 20 May 2021 James received her endowment and family sealings by proxy in 1979, seven decades after her death on April 16, 1908. David Noyce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 May 2021 Some Republicans are defending proxy voting, though. Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner, 2 Mar. 2021 The correlate of protection refers to the antibodies, B and T cells that can be measured in a blood test and act as a proxy for protection against a disease, Imperial College London immunologist Daniel Altmann tells Smriti Mallapaty at Nature News. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 27 May 2021 Advisors may use portfolio turnover as a proxy for tax efficiency, but that’s only a rough estimation. John Jennings, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Facebook spokesperson Claire Lerner told The Intercept that critical discussion of Zionists was permitted but not when the word was being used as a proxy for Jews or Israelis. NBC News, 26 May 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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Learn More about proxy

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

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Proxy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 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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