representative

1 of 2

adjective

rep·​re·​sen·​ta·​tive ˌre-pri-ˈzen-tə-tiv How to pronounce representative (audio)
1
: serving to represent
2
a
: standing or acting for another especially through delegated authority
b
: of, based on, or constituting a government in which the many are represented by persons chosen from among them usually by election
3
: serving as a typical or characteristic example
a representative moviegoer
4
: of or relating to representation or representationalism
representatively adverb
representativeness noun
representativity noun

representative

2 of 2

noun

1
: one that represents another or others: such as
a(1)
: one that represents a constituency as a member of a legislative body
(2)
: a member of the house of representatives of the U.S. Congress or a state legislature
b
: one that represents another as agent, deputy, substitute, or delegate usually being invested with the authority of the principal
c
: one that represents a business organization
d
: one that represents another as successor or heir
2
: a typical example of a group, class, or quality : specimen

Examples of representative in a Sentence

Adjective The paintings are representative of English art in the early 19th century. The students chosen for the survey are a fairly representative sample of college students from across the U.S. Noun Do you know who your representatives are? The bill was introduced by Representative Smith. a representative of her age group
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Distinctly, American democracy is representative; while every person has the right to pick who takes part in the decision-making, only a select few are actually making the choices. Theodore McDarrah, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 Hammons' story is representative of growing numbers of African Americans discovering their ties to white slaveholders through DNA tests and making claims to be included in their families. Daniel Gonzalez, The Arizona Republic, 26 Feb. 2024 Chiquita Canyon officials have argued that the elevated benzene found in some water samples is not representative of the larger amount of liquid that the company is trying to remove and transport. Tony Briscoe, Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2024 Yet a shift to online studies is helping provide one thing that the smaller, less representative samples of the past couldn’t: kids who don’t typically come to university labs. Connie Chang, The Atlantic, 15 Feb. 2024 The survey, which was based on the perceptions of a nationally representative sample of 1,528 Jews ages 18 or older, was conducted online and via phone interviews. Nicole Chavez, CNN, 13 Feb. 2024 During the carnival-like atmosphere of the Sunday afternoon T-dances, Amnesia is representative of everything South Beach is known for. Miami Herald Archives, Miami Herald, 8 Feb. 2024 Britain’s policy shift created an opportunity for leaders like al-Husseini to push for a representative legislative council, or an Arab Agency, like the Jewish Agency, that would provide an independent institution for their nationalist ambitions. Emily Bazelon, New York Times, 1 Feb. 2024 This council was not supposed to be proportional or truly representative. Seyward Darby, Longreads, 14 Feb. 2024
Noun
Joe Biden or Donald Trump could do so by consulting with representatives from nonunion sectors, such as the auto sector in Alabama or domestic workers in Texas. Desirée Leclercq, Fortune, 28 Feb. 2024 During the press conference on Wednesday afternoon, representatives from the advocacy groups as well as other women who’ve come forward with their allegations since the bills had passed spoke about the need for action from the industry. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 28 Feb. 2024 The rest are to be doled out based on separate conventions also happening that day based on a vote by GOP representatives from each of the state's 13 congressional districts. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, 28 Feb. 2024 The legislation was designed to give employees a role in regulating the industry by including them in a council with business representatives that could set wage and workplace standards, among other changes. Bloomberg, The Mercury News, 28 Feb. 2024 Although retaining Kessler could mean the teams are exploring litigation, the negotiating representatives insisted the attorney has so far only been brought on to advise them in negotiations. Jenna Fryer, Quartz, 27 Feb. 2024 And one of the county's two state representatives, Rachel Roberts, D-Newport, is one of the rare Democrats in Northern Kentucky who represents the area at the statehouse. Jolene Almendarez, The Enquirer, 27 Feb. 2024 The drone can deliver packages of around 2 1/2, according to a representative from Wing Aviation. Elizabeth Campbell, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 16 Feb. 2024 The representatives explain that Wilson’s wife of three decades, Melinda Ledbetter Wilson, had been attending to his daily needs until her death last month. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 16 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'representative.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of representative was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near representative

Cite this Entry

“Representative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/representative. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

representative

1 of 2 adjective
rep·​re·​sen·​ta·​tive ˌrep-ri-ˈzent-ət-iv How to pronounce representative (audio)
1
: serving to represent
a painting representative of a battle
2
: standing or acting for another especially through delegated authority
3
: of, based upon, or being a government in which the people are represented by persons chosen from among them usually by election
4
: serving as a typical example of the thing mentioned
a representative athlete
representatively adverb
representativeness noun

representative

2 of 2 noun
1
: a typical example of a group, class, or quality
2
: one that represents another or others : delegate
especially : a member of the house of representatives of the U.S. Congress or a state legislature

Legal Definition

representative

1 of 2 adjective
rep·​re·​sen·​ta·​tive
1
: serving to represent
2
a
: standing or acting for another especially through delegated authority
an agent acting in a representative capacity
b
: of, based on, or constituting a government in which the people are represented by individuals chosen from among them usually by election
3
: of or relating to representation

representative

2 of 2 noun
: one that represents another or others in a special capacity: as
a
: one that represents a constituency as a member of a legislative or other governing body
specifically : a member of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress or a state legislature
b
: one that represents another as agent, deputy, substitute, or delegate and that usually is invested with the authority of the principal
c
: one that represents or stands in the place of a deceased person : personal representative
d
: one that represents another as successor or heir
e
: one named as the plaintiff or defendant in a class action to litigate on behalf of the class
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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