proxy

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

There’s good news for Gmail users: Google reroutes every image request through its own proxy servers. Verge Staff, The Verge, "Everything you need to know about the invisible e-mail tool that tracks you," 3 July 2019 The most popular investors' proxy for the U.S. stock market is now just 5 points shy of the 3,000 mark. CBS News, "A new high for the Dow as blue-chip index closes within inches of 27,000," 3 July 2019 The trade debate among Democrats, then, will likely serve as a proxy fight for whether a candidate is perceived to stand with the middle class or with the ultrarich. Alex Ward, Vox, "Trade, defense, and Israel: 2020 Democrats’ foreign policy flashpoints," 27 June 2019 Washington quit the deal a year ago and reimposed sanctions to force Iran to rein back regional proxy militias. Zainab Fattah, Fortune, "Iran Says It Shot Down a U.S. Drone Amid Escalating Tensions in the Oil Region," 20 June 2019 By turning the proceedings into a proxy trial of Maxwell — calling a witness who testified Maxwell attempted to enlist him in a plot to murder his stepdaughter — Radney valorized Burns as an agent of retributive justice. Stephen Phillips, latimes.com, "This Southern murder trial inspired Harper Lee's 'lost' book. 'Furious Hours' reexamines it," 14 June 2019 Founded by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps in the 1980s as a shadowy guerrilla force dedicated to ejecting the Israeli troops who were then occupying Lebanon, Hezbollah has become the prototype for Iran’s subsequent proxy forces in the region. Suzan Haidamous, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s sanctions on Iran are hitting Hezbollah hard," 18 May 2019 The Korean War, Vietnam War, and a number of other armed conflicts, during which both sides either funded one side of the war or fought directly against a communist or capitalist force, are all considered Cold War proxies. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "What was the Cold War?," 22 Mar. 2019 Staring back at Ball was a proxy error notice, a gray message plastered against a screen of purgatorial white. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about proxy

Statistics for proxy

Last Updated

9 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for proxy

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for proxy

proxy

noun

Financial Definition of 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.

Source: Investing Answers

proxy

noun

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

proxy

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

proxy

noun
\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on proxy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with proxy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for proxy

Spanish Central: Translation of proxy

Nglish: Translation of proxy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of proxy for Arabic Speakers

Comments on proxy

What made you want to look up proxy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!