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

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 For the study, researchers surveyed a nationally representative group of 660 physicians in 2016 by email and through online outreach. Fox News, "Many doctors skip meningococcal vaccine talks with teens," 21 Aug. 2018 The finding comes from a nationally representative survey of teachers conducted in the 2015-2016 school year. Moriah Balingit, chicagotribune.com, "How bad is teacher pay? Nearly 1 in 5 teachers works a second job, report says," 20 June 2018 The new study captured data from a nationally representative group of hospital emergency departments between 2009 and 2013. Melissa Healy, latimes.com, "Scant abortion-related ER visits suggest there's no medical basis for restrictive laws, study says," 15 June 2018 The new study used data from a nationally representative household survey by the US Department of Agriculture on food purchases and acquisitions during a seven-day study period, the organization said in the statement. Martin Finucane, BostonGlobe.com, "Study says people eat a lot at work — and it’s not too healthy," 11 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

John Delaney Maryland representative John Delaney's campaign strategy centers around getting into the race early. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Presidential Candidates 2020: Here's Who's Running So Far," 25 Jan. 2019 In Andover, Massachusetts, more than 100 customer service representatives, electronic filing workers and other IRS employees plan to use the hardship exemption and won’t report to work, said Gary Karibian, chapter president of a local union. Jeff Stein, The Seattle Times, "Citing hardship, hundreds of furloughed IRS workers skip returning to work," 23 Jan. 2019 Former three-term Congressional representative from Maryland’s 6th district. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "Everybody Running for President in 2020," 18 Jan. 2019 Sitting across the table are representatives from management. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "As digital media companies brace for change, unions try to cushion the blow," 26 Dec. 2018 The apartment's representative, Melissa Regan of MR Agency, then acquired the space and asked the pair to handle the interiors. Roxanne Robinson, ELLE Decor, "You Can Now Buy the Incredibly Chic Lighting at the Coco Chanel Apartment in Paris," 25 Sep. 2018 The committee would include workers, representatives from stores, and women’s group leaders. Marci Robin, Allure, "McDonald's Workers Plan to Strike to Bring Attention to Sexual Harassment Concerns," 14 Sep. 2018 According to an Nvidia representative, early implementations of cloud gaming services like OnLive suffered from delays of 100 milliseconds or more. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "I played Shadow of the Tomb Raider over 5G, and it didn't suck," 11 Sep. 2018 According to the brand’s representatives, the film was fueled by a desire to bring back tales of the past. Sarah Nechamkin, The Cut, "Watch Kenzo’s Dreamy Reimagining of an Ancient Japanese Folktale," 13 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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Last Updated

13 Feb 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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