I would like to say that some thing A is used as a proxy for another thing B. How would I express this with "proxy" as an adjective?

To me,

A is proxy to B and less expensive.

sounds more natural than

A is proxy for B and less expensive.

Are to and for both fine, is only one of them correct, or is neither correct?


  • 4
    Why should you be bothering yourself with the preposition in the first place? Why not simply say A is B's proxy?
    – user405662
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 17:31
  • @user405662 Because this is part of a technical sentence that very accurately expresses something I want to say (conditional on one of the above being correct).
    – Ramen
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 17:36
  • 1
    'Instead of' looks more natural here. A proxy carries the idea of a temporary stand-in. Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 17:37
  • 1
    Neither is correct; proxy is not an adjective — it's a noun. And I don't think you mean proxy at all. Did you look it up? Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 23:51
  • @TinfoilHat I actually looked up if proxy was an adjective and wiktionary said yes – are they incorrect? And yeah, I meant proxy, I think; I just need an adjective that says that something is a model/placeholder for something else.
    – Ramen
    Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


A is a proxy for B and less expensive.

The interest rate is a proxy for the cost of credit, and the real effective exchange rate is a proxy for relative prices. Lawrence Pelzer, New Developments in Macroeconomics Research (2006)

If social class is a proxy for how we live, each SES indicator is a proxy for a somewhat different dimension of that life. Proceedings of the 1993 Public Health Conference on Records and Statistics; Toward the Year 2000

Proxy is noun (and a verb), but you can use it attributively as a modifier.

A common solution is to do a proxy vote, which means that you assign another person to vote in your place. Jennifer Reuting; Limited Liability Companies For Dummies (2008)

For example, according to officials at one company we interviewed, if a proxy vote is to be cast not in accordance with the plan's guidelines, then the vote is decided by the plan's proxy committee ... GAO; Pension Plans

Charles Bridges had sued the stockholder committee for libel, complaining that the proxy letter had falsely charged that his management was incompetent and that the company had deceived shareholders about the company's finances. Diana B. Henriques; The White Sharks of Wall Street (2001)

On a practical note, there are 83 observations for which the time between the board date and the proxy date exceeds 60 days, and 1 observation with a 290 days difference between the board and proxy dates. J. Choi and S. Dow; Institutional Approach to Global Corporate Governance (2008)

  • Thank you for the answer! Do you want your answer to imply that the usage with for and to as in my question are incorrect?
    – Ramen
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 17:41
  • 3
    I would wait a for a lawyer to chime in, but I suggest "A is a proxy for B and less expensive"--to sounds wrong and you need an article--a proxy. Note that proxy is still a noun in your example. You can't use it like you would "proximal to." Proxy derives from procuracy.
    – DjinTonic
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 17:47
  • Thanks, your last comment helped me a lot.
    – Ramen
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 17:59
  • Proxy fights have occurred frequently in the investment community. That's a pretty standard noun compound. Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 18:56
  • @JohnLawler Lexico has proxy war, a real war, as well.
    – DjinTonic
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 19:57

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