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

Lenovo allowed an undisclosed ThinkPad notebook to be showed off with the Optane Memory H10 inside, and representative thin-and-light notebooks were also displayed, such as the Acer Swift 3 and Swift 5. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel's Optane Memory H10 marries super-fast Optane and SSD storage on one M.2 card," 9 Jan. 2019 Based on tests administered at the beginning and end of the 2017-2018 year, the students’ gains in language and literacy surpassed those of a nationally representative sample of kids who took the same tests. Dahlia Bazzaz, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s preschool program, on the ballot for expansion, is steadily improving, according to external evaluation," 8 Oct. 2018 In each case, a nationally representative sample was randomly split into different groups, some of whom saw correct information about the size of the immigrant population. John Sides, Washington Post, "Americans vastly overestimate the number of immigrants. But what if it doesn’t matter?," 22 June 2018 MassMutual, based in Springfield, Mass., used a nationally representative sample of 10,000 adults in the U.S., across age, education, ethnicity, gender and race. Nicole Zelniker, USA TODAY, "Want to boost your finances? Spend time with others," 15 Feb. 2018 But Yang said that these areas were not representative of the whole country, and that China was generally on the right track. Chris Mooney, The Seattle Times, "‘We are in trouble.’ Global carbon emissions reached a record high in 2018.," 5 Dec. 2018 The nationally representative study examined 5,692 people, finding that while the prevalence of any personality disorder was around 9 percent, only 1.4 percent of respondents met the diagnostic criteria for BPD in particular. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "13 Facts Everyone Should Know About Borderline Personality Disorder," 5 Dec. 2018 But unlike the Billboard charts, Apple’s podcast charts don’t rank shows by raw popularity; the charts aren’t wholly representative of the biggest shows. Ashley Carman, The Verge, "Gaming the Apple Podcast charts is cheaper and easier than you think," 29 Nov. 2018 Here are a couple representative posts from the last few months. Theodore Schleifer, Recode, "The federal government is cracking down on DJ Khaled and Floyd Mayweather for telling fans to invest in cryptocurrencies," 29 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The office of the U.S. trade representative conducted a thorough investigation of Chinese policies this March and filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization. Martin Feldstein, WSJ, "Tariffs Should Target Chinese Lawlessness, Not the Trade Deficit," 27 Dec. 2018 In addition to making the leadership of the Women’s March more representative of the country as a whole, the three women brought experience with organizing and activism that some of the women who had joined the effort on Facebook lacked. Anna North, Vox, "The Women’s March changed the American left. Now anti-Semitism allegations threaten the group’s future.," 21 Dec. 2018 Trump selected Zinke — then the representative for Montana — in December 2016 to head up the department. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Trump’s Interior Secretary will step down at the end of the year," 15 Dec. 2018 Projection: today is the first day in history Americans have elected more than 100 women to the U.S. House of representatives. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "America Could Elect More Than 100 Women to the House For the First Time in History," 7 Nov. 2018 In an email to HouseBeautiful.com, a representative for Yankee Candle confirmed the future arrival — and shed some light on what will be in it. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "ALERT: Yankee Candle's 2018 Advent Calendar Is Coming To the US," 13 Aug. 2018 Altman, a 1997 graduate of Norwich Free Academy and member of the 2001 class at Eastern, is the fourth representative from the women's lacrosse program to gain induction, following Erin Byrnes (2012), Mo Deegan (2014), and Erika Blozie (2016). ... courant.com, "Regional Digest: Altman Anderson First E-Club Hall Inductee," 13 July 2018 In Katowice, Poland, representatives from across the globe gathered to craft a global consensus around cutting emissions at the COP24 talks. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As cities confront climate change, is density the answer?," 11 Dec. 2018 However, the representative declined to provide additional details. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Amazon customers’ names and email addresses disclosed by website error," 21 Nov. 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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Last Updated

16 Jan 2019

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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