The term proxy can be combined with a number of terms which yield various different meanings.
In reference to the Oxford English Dictionary, proxy generally relates to the sense of representation.
Some believe that we act as proxies for one another quite often and it can be something that is present in our daily lives. For example, when one is deeply in love with a person, their own political beliefs, interests, likes, dislikes may change without realizing. One can basically become the person they love, and they become their proxy. We find our opinions being thoroughly shaped by the people closest to us.
We don't just become proxies for people that we love, it can happen between friends, business settings, and in politics. A proxy is someone who steps in for someone else, a substitute for another person and at times it can be difficult to future out if you are doing what they would want or what you want. However, this is only a loose way of understanding what it means to be a proxy and what the word may entail.
The term proxy originated in 1440 from procuracy. According to the Christian Church, a procuracy is a payment made by the Church in order to provide entertainment for the bishop, or any other important public figures. Procuracy comes from an Anglo Norman variant of procuracie and the Latin form of the word is procuratio, means administration or management.
It is a noun which means "the agency of a person" who acts in place of another, someone who can be a substitute or acts on another's behalf.
Someone who is present by proxy is there in place of another and who is not actually there in person. A proxy is given permission to take actions vicariously in place of another person. Examples include agents, brokers, delegates, messengers, lieutenants, or surrogates. Even a written legal document granting authorization to act in place of another is considered a proxy (a power of attorney).
A proxy fight is when two corporations compete to gain votes from shareholders in order to control larger portions of the business.
In terms of computing, a proxy server is a computer server created so that a person can use to access specific files and data indirectly. When someone is connected to a proxy server, it is connected to the Internet and one is on the internet "by proxy".
In any case or use of the word, a proxy is meant to be a substitute, a replacement. Anything or anyone that is appointed in place of another and used as a representative hold the title of a proxy.
Litherland, Neal. "Definition of "By Proxy"" EHow. Demand Media, 26 Dec. 2009. Web. 21 Nov. 2012. <http://www.ehow.com/facts_5798285_definition-_by-proxy_.html>.
"procuracy, n.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. 21 November 2012 <http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/151897>.
"proxy, n.". OED Online. September 2012. Oxford University Press. 21 November 2012 <http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/153573>.