One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Especially with reference to France or in classical contexts: a person who negotiates something, especially a marriage; a go-between, a matchmaker. Also occasionally: a procurer.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Pierre Erondelle (fl. 1586–1609). From French proxénète broker, person who negotiates a deal, procurer or its etymon classical Latin proxenēta agent, broker from Greek προξενητής (attested in undated inscriptions) from ancient Greek προξενεῖν to be a public guest or friend, to manage for another + -τής, suffix forming agent-nouns.
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