representative

adjective
rep·re·sen·ta·tive | \ ˌre-pri-ˈzen-tə-tiv \

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

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Other words from representative

Adjective

representatively adverb
representativeness noun
representativity \ˌre-pri-ˌzen-tə-ˈti-və-tē \ 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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This designation exemplifies some of the best congressional talent in our representative democracy. Joshua Stewart, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Rep. Susan Davis wins award for a worker-friendly office," 13 July 2018 These impersonal norms then facilitated Western institutions like individual rights, markets, and representative government. Kevin Lewis, BostonGlobe.com, "Looking for negative signals," 6 July 2018 In any case, average support for representative democracy in the United States is not low. Daniel Treisman, Washington Post, "Is democracy really in danger? The picture is not as dire as you think.," 19 June 2018 Critics say the partisan redistricting undermines representative democracy. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Sidesteps Major Legal Issues in Gerrymandering Cases," 18 June 2018 The tensions between representative democracy, always imperfect, and authoritarian power, always a threat, are now being pushed to the limit. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Artist Barbara Kruger turns a bland building into a screaming statement. Time to listen up," 14 June 2018 Anna North, Vox's senior politics reporter who covers gender issues and authored the report, told Teen Vogue that the results of the nationally-representative survey of more than 2,500 women weren't necessarily surprising. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "A New Survey Shows Women of All Ages Support #MeToo," 20 Mar. 2018 The survey was designed and conducted by MTV Insights Research among a nationally representative sample of approximately 1800 young people (ages 18-25) in December 2017. Patrick Crowley, Billboard, "MTV Finds That #MeToo Movement Is Causing Young Men to Question Their Behavior," 19 Jan. 2018 This CBS News 2018 Battleground Tracker was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,063 U.S. adults between June 21-22, 2018. CBS News, "CBS News Battleground Tracker: Sharp divides over immigration, separation," 24 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

At a meeting in February, Pat Morrison, the union’s representative on the OSHA rule-writing committee, advocated applying the new emergency responder rules to all states. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Firefighters protect us. Who protects them?," 13 July 2018 Is the Constitution a charter of self-government that allows the people’s elected representatives to try to find reasonable institutional solutions for the varied problems of the world? Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Brett Kavanaugh and the new judicial activism," 12 July 2018 Boston, Cleveland and Houston had the most representatives with five each. Houston Mitchell Los Angeles Times, star-telegram, "Potent AL outfield of Trout, Betts and Judge headlines All-Star game rosters," 9 July 2018 The school board also welcomed two new student board representatives who will sit with members during each meeting and offer their opinions on issues. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Hobart awards bids for high school aquatic center," 6 July 2018 District representatives were not available Thursday to discuss the resignation or offer a timeline on the selection of a replacement. Steve Dreyer, Pomerado News, "Poway High principal resigns," 5 July 2018 Among the thousands of people in the black community who attended the funeral were representatives of Jet Magazine, which then ran an exclusive photograph of Mamie Till staring down at her son’s battered body. Gabby Raymond, Time, "The Justice Department Has Reopened Its Investigation of Emmett Till's Murder. Here Are 5 Things to Know About the Case," 12 July 2018 Voter behavior is identity-driven and haphazard, and the voters who show up on Election Day are rarely representative of the public as a whole. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Abolishing ICE Is About As Popular As Trump’s Immigration Agenda," 11 July 2018 Crop One said their starting wage would be $15 an hour with benefits, according to council members who spoke with company representatives. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Hartford Council Approves Sale Of Blighted North End Property, Tax Agreement For Hydroponics Company," 10 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of representative

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to representative

the House of Representatives

Statistics for representative

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for representative

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

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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 \

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

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Comments on representative

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