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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Those criticisms were in light of mounting pressure over the past several campaigns for Democrats to begin the march to the nomination in a place more demographically representative of the increasingly racially and ethnically diverse party. Washington Post, "Iowa’s coveted voting status in doubt after delay on results," 4 Feb. 2020 With a reduction of votes to a voting body of members presently or very recently working, the Academy will appear not merely symbolically representative of the industry but literally so. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "How to Make the Oscars Relevant Again," 15 Jan. 2020 After all, the awards are handed out by roughly 90 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — not exactly representative of most moviegoers’ tastes. Anne Cohen, refinery29.com, "The 2020 Golden Globes Took One Step Forward, Five Steps Back," 7 Jan. 2020 The roots of the U.S. census go all the way back to the American Revolution and its quest to ensure fair and representative government. Jess Mchugh, Fortune, "The U.S. Census Has a Long History of Discrimination," 20 June 2019 The CBS News survey is conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 3,101 U.S. residents interviewed between December 20-23, 2019. Fred Backus, CBS News, "#MeToo and Time's Up: Most think the movements are making progress - CBS News poll," 7 Jan. 2020 While efforts have been made to produce more geographically representative samples, at-home DNA tests still give far more detailed answers about European ancestry than most other parts of the world. Jack Herrera, Popular Science, "DNA tests can’t tell you your race," 27 Dec. 2019 In 2015, Walsemann led a landmark study with peers at UCLA that analyzed 13-years of data from a nationally representative sample of nearly 9,000 American adults, pulling out information about those who reported holding student loans. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "It’s time to talk about the mental health effects of student loan debt," 28 Oct. 2019 The survey was conducted from January 8 through February 7 of this year, among a nationally representative sample of 1502 adults 18 or older. Edward Baig, USA TODAY, "How do you go online? More of you are choosing phone over home broadband, Pew survey says," 13 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Guinness World Records representatives witnessed both attempts. USA TODAY, "Cold case cards, firework record, monkey treatment: News from around our 50 states," 11 Feb. 2020 The donor’s representatives contacted Isabel Serna, a victim advocate in the district attorney’s office. Otis R. Taylor Jr., SFChronicle.com, "Anonymous donor helps Bay Area victims of rent scammer recover," 10 Feb. 2020 The high-water summit, convened by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, allowed agency representatives to hear the latest on high water levels, the forecast heading into spring, and to plot how better to coordinate responses. Keith Matheny, Detroit Free Press, "Statewide road fixes for record-high water levels could top $100 million," 10 Feb. 2020 Guinness World Records representatives witnessed both attempts. Washington Post, "Man arrested after allegedly driving van into Republican registration effort," 10 Feb. 2020 The restaurant is expected to open in two months, according to a company representative. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Crab Du Jour, a Cajun seafood chain restaurant, plans to open in Brown Deer," 10 Feb. 2020 The committee representatives requested documents relating to the decision, including communications between DHS, the White House and other agencies. Fox News, "House Dems demand documents on DHS move to suspend Global Entry for New York over sanctuary law," 9 Feb. 2020 The commission would also bar representatives from submitting proposals on behalf of more than one shareholder at the same meeting. Paul Kiernan, WSJ, "SEC Seeks to Curb Shareholder Resolutions," 9 Feb. 2020 Although the 87th Texas Legislative Session is 11 months away, local Texas House representatives like Tom Oliverson are preparing bills and gathering input from the community. Chevall Pryce, Houston Chronicle, "Texas House Rep. Tom Oliverson discusses health care legislation," 7 Feb. 2020

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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Time Traveler for representative

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for representative

Last Updated

13 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Representative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/representative. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for representative

representative

adjective
How to pronounce representative (audio)

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

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