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

Mercado Services The company offers six e-commerce services: A representative for Amazon declined to discuss the company’s long-term plans in Latin America. Ezequiel Minaya, WSJ, "Argentinian Company Wants to Build the Amazon of Latin America," 19 Mar. 2019 Aldridge keeps streak going This season’s All-Star game is being played in Los Angeles and the Spurs once again have a representative in forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Kyle Ringo, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs have abundance of All-Star memories," 16 Feb. 2018 Since its inception in 1959, the Grammys have emboldened musicians to experiment and make statements, resulting in a catalog of unique looks representative of both era and genre. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "From Jennifer Lopez to Britney Spears, the Best Grammys Beauty Looks of All Time," 8 Feb. 2019 For the new study, researchers analyzed nationally representative survey data from parents with kids between the ages of 3 and 15 that was collected between 2013 and 2016. Korin Miller, SELF, "Kids Are Using Too Much Toothpaste and It's Actually a Problem," 5 Feb. 2019 Officials acted after fans at soccer games involving Hong Kong’s international representative team repeatedly booed the Chinese national anthem in the years after authorities quashed mass pro-democracy protests in 2014. Natasha Khan, WSJ, "Hong Kong Moves to Criminalize Disrespect of China’s National Anthem," 9 Jan. 2019 Warren Buffett said the company’s bottom-line net income is ‘not representative of what’s going on in the business’ because of the accounting rule. Michael Rapoport, WSJ, "Stock Selloff Could Hit Berkshire Hathaway in More Ways Than One," 5 Jan. 2019 In a nationally representative 2015 survey of 1,504 people published in the Journal of Food Protection, nearly 70 percent of consumers reported rinsing or washing raw poultry. Jenna Flannigan, SELF, "8 Surprising Food Safety Mistakes You Might Be Making," 11 Jan. 2019 The sharp increase in teen vaping was revealed in surveys completed by a nationally representative group of 13,850 students. Karen Kaplan, The Seattle Times, "Vaping among teens spikes, luring new generation of kids into tobacco use," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Somali-American Muslim representative Ilhan Omar’s comments on the Israeli government’s lobbying influence in the United States are a recent example of this. Vogue, "The Viral Taylor Swift Stan Story That Made Me Love the Internet Again," 5 Apr. 2019 And don’t forget to ask your provider or insurance representative what information will show up in the online portal. Mattie Quinn, SELF, "How to Get Birth Control and STI Testing If You’re on Your Parent’s Insurance," 5 Dec. 2018 Attempts to reach representatives for Sinatra Jr. late Friday were unsuccessful. John Rogers, chicagotribune.com, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101," 14 July 2018 Attempts to reach representatives for Sinatra Jr. late Friday were unsuccessful. John Rogers, BostonGlobe.com, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101," 14 July 2018 Attempts to reach representatives for Sinatra Jr. late Friday were unsuccessful. NBC News, "Nancy Sinatra Sr., first wife of Frank Sinatra, dies at 101," 14 July 2018 However, records dating back to 2015 show that Barnes has accepted Chiefs and Royals tickets from representatives for Burns & McDonnell, Black & Veatch and Hoefer Wysocki, an architecture and design firm. Bill Turque, kansascity, "KC council members slam gift ethics plan as Jason Kander drops casual campaign video," 12 July 2018 Tartaglione’s case pitted her family of political heavyweights against another North Philadelphia political clan – the Acostas – that claims two former state representatives among its ranks. Jeremy Roebuck, Philly.com, "Philly politico Renee Tartaglione sentenced to nearly 7 years in prison," 12 July 2018 Galaxia got the Mexican consulate involved, and a consulate representative called her on Tuesday night to tell her that Julia would be released. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Border Patrol Detained a 9-Year-Old U.S. Citizen for Over a Day on Her Way to School," 22 Mar. 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

10 Apr 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

to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

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!