representative

adjective
rep·​re·​sen·​ta·​tive | \ ˌre-pri-ˈzen-tə-tiv How to pronounce representative (audio) \

Definition of representative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : serving to represent
2a : 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

representative

noun

Definition of representative (Entry 2 of 2)

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from representative

Adjective

representatively adverb
representativeness noun
representativity \ ˌre-​pri-​ˌzen-​tə-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce representativity (audio) \ noun

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

That system was what could be called the liberal ideal, constructed around representative democracy, human rights, and free-market capitalism complemented by a strong social safety net. Robert Darnton, The New York Review of Books, "David A. Bell," 17 Jan. 2019 That’s exactly what the current research does, using a nationally representative sample of 20,000 people living in England. Washington Post, "People who spend more time outdoors lead more fulfilling lives, new research shows," 19 June 2019 That's from a nationally representative health survey in 2016-17 and compares with a little over 3% in 2002-03. Lindsey Tanner, USA TODAY, "More pregnant women are using marijuana, study finds. Doctor says it's 'not worth the risk'," 19 June 2019 Finally, the feathers on Cardi's shoulders and around the edge of the train could be representative of the uterine lining shedding during menstruation. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Cardi B's Met Gala 2019 Outfit Is Basically an Ode to Menstruation," 7 May 2019 Fire Your Congressman is mainly for people to express their dissatisfaction with a representative and start to contribute against them even before an opposing candidate announces their run. Marilyn Icsman, USA TODAY, "This PAC wants to help you 'fire' your member of Congress," 23 Apr. 2018 In a 2015 Journal of Food Protection study based on a nationally representative sample of 1,504 people, 69 percent of respondents reported rinsing or washing raw poultry. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "Should You Be Washing Chicken Before You Cook It?," 10 Apr. 2019 Even McLaren representative Paul Chadderton expressed a bit of concern. Scott Sturgis, Philly.com, "McLaren 570S Spider: Knock-your-glasses-off fun - plus room for luggage," 31 May 2018 To win approval, the company had to run a demographically representative study proving that 97 percent of users understand that the test is not a medical recommendation, says 23andMe chief legal and regulatory officer Kathy Hibbs. Angela Chen, The Verge, "23andMe’s genetic test for how you’ll react to medication is ahead of its time," 2 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But those representatives won't be able to keep their views to themselves for much longer. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky GOP mostly silent in the face of Trump's racist 'go back' tweet," 15 July 2019 To complement the Cong Tri dress, Beyoncé accessorized with jewelry by Lorraine Schwartz, a clutch bag by Anna Cecere, and Jimmy Choo heels, according to a representative. Tara Edwards, refinery29.com, "Beyoncé's London Lion King Premiere Look Is Pure Nala," 15 July 2019 Rodríguez was flanked by representatives including Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza and Miranda state Gov. Héctor Rodríguez in the video message. Washington Post, "Venezuelan government, opposition resume talks in Barbados," 15 July 2019 Spurs have previously been mooted as a possible destination, with journalist Duncan Castles claiming contact had been made between the club and Alves' representatives last week. SI.com, "Man City, Tottenham & Arsenal All Interested in Free Agent Dani Alves," 15 July 2019 After playing mostly as a special teamer in his rookie year, Schobert went on to lead the NFL with 142 tackles and was the team’s lone Pro Bowl representative in 2017. Curt Hogg, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "An NFL Pro Bowler comes home to Waukesha to help train the next batch of football stars," 15 July 2019 The hundred and sixteenth Congress contains a hundred and ninety-seven Republican representatives and fifty-three Republican senators. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, "Trump’s Overt Racism Is Uniting Democrats and Unnerving Some Republicans," 15 July 2019 And then, union representatives warn, Germany might have its own yellow vest revolt. Katrin Bennhold, New York Times, "Greens Are the New Hope for Europe’s Center. For the Far Right, They’re Enemy No. 1.," 14 July 2019 While very large companies might have employees or representatives at overseas factories as a matter of course to monitor quality, small businesses owners without such help must operate on faith that the goods will turn out right. Joyce M. Rosenberg, SFChronicle.com, "Businesses find pitfalls in making goods overseas," 14 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'representative.' 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 representative

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about representative

Statistics for representative

Last Updated

17 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for representative

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for representative

representative

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of representative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: typical of a particular group of people or of a particular thing
: including examples of the different types of people or things in a group
: having people who are chosen in elections to act or speak for or in support of the people who voted for them

representative

noun

English Language Learners Definition of representative (Entry 2 of 2)

: someone who acts or speaks for or in support of another person or group
: a member of the House of Representatives of the U.S. Congress or of a state government
: a person or thing that is typical of a group

representative

adjective
rep·​re·​sen·​ta·​tive | \ ˌre-pri-ˈzen-tə-tiv How to pronounce representative (audio) \

Kids Definition of representative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : serving to portray The painting is representative of a battle.
2 : carried on by people elected to act for others a representative government
3 : being a typical example of the thing mentioned This song is representative of the blues.

representative

noun

Kids Definition of representative (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a typical example (as of a group or class)
2 : a person who acts for others (as in a legislature and especially in the House of Representatives of the United States or of a state)

representative

adjective
rep·​re·​sen·​ta·​tive

Legal Definition of representative

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : serving to represent
2a : 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

noun

Legal Definition of representative (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on representative

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

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

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
Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!