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

That number could be expanded, which would be completely consistent with the Constitution — probably more so, as the founding generation was skeptical that large districts could actually be representative. Jay Cost, National Review, "Chris Hayes and Progressives’ Lack of Respect for the Constitution," 3 Sep. 2019 Some also are skeptical that a 15-member negotiating team for intra-Afghan talks, yet to be announced by the government, will be representative of civil society and women, whose fate is especially fragile. Washington Post, "War-weary Afghans see little voice in their country’s fate," 2 Sep. 2019 But most have baked-in biases and aren’t truly representative. Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "Watch out, investors, statistics can lie. Your 401(k) will thank you seeing the truth," 1 Sep. 2019 But the viral junk food replicas aren’t very representative of what Saffitz — or, really, any sane person — truly enjoys cooking. Marella Gayla, BostonGlobe.com, "Meet Claire Saffitz, the Internet’s favorite pastry chef," 27 Aug. 2019 The 206 is fairly representative of civilian passenger aircraft, with room for one pilot and five passengers, a range of about 840 miles, and a payload with fuel of 932 pounds. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This Air Force Robot Can Fly a Cessna by Itself," 23 Aug. 2019 El Paso officials, including Rep. Veronica Escobar, have emphasized that the perpetrator is not a member of their community, but someone whose values are not representative of El Paso. Tara Law, Time, "Everything We Know About the Possible Hate Crime Investigation in the El Paso Shooting," 3 Aug. 2019 One of the Democratic Party’s requirements for participation in an alliance was that Five Star acknowledge that Italy was in fact a representative democracy. Jason Horowitz, New York Times, "Where Does Italy’s Enfeebled Five Star Find Itself? At the Center of Power," 22 Aug. 2019 Hedlin told the station that a representative from Target and Lilly Pulitzer reached out to her after coming across one of her old blog posts expressing her love for Lily Pulitzer. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "This Texas Mom (And Her Wheelchair) Were Featured in New Lilly Pulitzer for Target Ad," 22 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Hays, the Orioles’ No. 6 prospect per Baseball America, was initially going to join the AFL later this month as one of seven Baltimore representatives on the Surprise Saguaros. Baltimore Sun Staff, baltimoresun.com, "Orioles promote outfielder Austin Hays after Arizona Fall League rule change," 7 Sep. 2019 In the end, the group of representatives from nine tribes decided to wait for more details on the plan. Washington Post, "In the Amazon, indigenous debate how to save their lands," 6 Sep. 2019 The senior member of the Tide’s NFL representatives is Cincinnati Bengals offensive tackle Andre Smith, who is entering his 11th season. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Alabama leads colleges in players on NFL rosters," 5 Sep. 2019 Two of the most outspoken freshmen representatives tangled on Twitter on Wednesday over universal background checks. NBC News, "AOC and GOP Rep. Crenshaw duel online over background checks," 4 Sep. 2019 In response to its findings, Cancer CAREpoint has taken the lead in forming a group of representatives from across medical and cultural divides, including most area hospitals and leaders in the cancer field. Jen Landes, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Bay Area cancer survivors aren’t getting the help they need," 4 Sep. 2019 Entries will be judged by a panel of PrAna representatives, and once the winner is chosen, he or she will be asked to quit their job and document their year-long journey of living the dream. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "This Company Is Offering $100,000 To Follow Your Dreams," 29 Aug. 2019 Israel often hosts delegations of U.S. representatives and senators, who usually meet with senior Israeli officials as well as Palestinian officials in the occupied West Bank. CBS News, "Israel denies entry to outspoken Reps. Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib," 15 Aug. 2019 Israel often hosts delegations of U.S. representatives and senators, who usually meet with senior Israeli officials as well as Palestinian officials in the occupied West Bank. Lisa Mascaro, Twin Cities, "Israel bars entry of U.S. congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib," 15 Aug. 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.

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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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Statistics for representative

Last Updated

11 Sep 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 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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Comments on representative

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