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

Other Words from representative

Adjective

representatively adverb
representativeness noun
representativity \ ˌre-​pri-​ˌzen-​tə-​ˈti-​və-​tē How to pronounce representative (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
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Queen Elizabeth led the way, stepping onto the Buckingham Palace balcony wearing St. Patrick's blue, a nod to the original symbolic color of Ireland which can also be representative of sovereignty. Stephanie Petit, PEOPLE.com, 1 Aug. 2022 In Taiwan, the United States keeps a representative office, the American Institute in Taiwan, headed by a low-profile official from the State Department. New York Times, 29 July 2022 China’s representative office in Hong Kong and the Hong Kong government didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Josh Chin, WSJ, 26 May 2022 Meanwhile, the Lithuanian government has rejected any change to the name of the representative office. Kevin Whitelaw, Bloomberg.com, 27 Jan. 2022 But Taiwan scored a small win this year when Lithuania pressed ahead with plans to open a representative office early next year in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, despite outrage from Beijing. Amy Qin And, BostonGlobe.com, 10 Nov. 2021 Three months ago, SoftBank—the world’s leading technology fund—opened a representative office in Israel and appointed former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen as the manager of its activity in Israel. Gil Press, Forbes, 27 Oct. 2021 Ta Kung Pao, which is controlled by China’s representative office in Hong Kong, in some respects mirrors the city’s broader evolution. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, 9 Sep. 2021 Yet no individual or household is representative of those averages. Ben Carlson, Fortune, 23 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Steeves-Little is the student representative on the Alaska School Activities Association’s board of directors, and is also a member of the Alaska Association of Student Governments. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Aug. 2022 But civil rights leaders, pointing to circumstances in Colvin's personal life, thought that Parks would be the better representative of the movement. Cassie Spodak, Channon Hodge And Margaret Dawson, CNN, 6 Aug. 2022 Their comments followed a speech from Bi-khim Hsiao, the chief Taiwanese representative to the United States. Jacob Scholl, The Salt Lake Tribune, 6 Aug. 2022 José Leovigildo Cinto Tepale, the Nahua representative who temporarily served as alcalde mayor of Santa María Zacatepec, led the way on his motorcycle. Allison Keeley, The New Yorker, 3 Aug. 2022 And expect to spend time walking around the vehicle with the representative to note any dings or scratches. Laura Daily, Washington Post, 2 Aug. 2022 The Daily Harvest representative didn’t comment on any pending litigation. Alyssa Lukpat, WSJ, 31 July 2022 Raul Ruiz, the United States representative who grew up in the area and lived in a trailer home as a child​, said a solution should involve relocating residents to preferential housing​ and the construction of affordable housing​. New York Times, 31 July 2022 Sara says the compliance representative seemed more intent on convincing Sara to send Zoe back to Hopebridge than on investigating her concerns. Erika Fry, Fortune, 29 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near representative

representationist

representative

representative art

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Last Updated

8 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Representative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/representative. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for representative

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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