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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

This designation exemplifies some of the best congressional talent in our representative democracy. Joshua Stewart, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Rep. Susan Davis wins award for a worker-friendly office," 13 July 2018 These impersonal norms then facilitated Western institutions like individual rights, markets, and representative government. Kevin Lewis, BostonGlobe.com, "Looking for negative signals," 6 July 2018 In any case, average support for representative democracy in the United States is not low. Daniel Treisman, Washington Post, "Is democracy really in danger? The picture is not as dire as you think.," 19 June 2018 Critics say the partisan redistricting undermines representative democracy. Jess Bravin, WSJ, "Supreme Court Sidesteps Major Legal Issues in Gerrymandering Cases," 18 June 2018 The tensions between representative democracy, always imperfect, and authoritarian power, always a threat, are now being pushed to the limit. Christopher Knight, latimes.com, "Artist Barbara Kruger turns a bland building into a screaming statement. Time to listen up," 14 June 2018 Anna North, Vox's senior politics reporter who covers gender issues and authored the report, told Teen Vogue that the results of the nationally-representative survey of more than 2,500 women weren't necessarily surprising. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "A New Survey Shows Women of All Ages Support #MeToo," 20 Mar. 2018 The survey was designed and conducted by MTV Insights Research among a nationally representative sample of approximately 1800 young people (ages 18-25) in December 2017. Patrick Crowley, Billboard, "MTV Finds That #MeToo Movement Is Causing Young Men to Question Their Behavior," 19 Jan. 2018 This CBS News 2018 Battleground Tracker was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,063 U.S. adults between June 21-22, 2018. CBS News, "CBS News Battleground Tracker: Sharp divides over immigration, separation," 24 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In reality, downtown Hyatt director of events Kendall Erlenbusch said, Fanoomies representatives had spoken to a hotel manager but never followed through on booking any space. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "They bought tickets to a bogus sushi festival. Now they can’t get their money back," 11 July 2018 The citizen group is composed of 26 people appointed by the mayor, City Council and Texas General Land Office and four representatives of a technical advisory committee. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Next Alamo hearing to give public more information," 10 July 2018 The 29-stop tour is an opportunity for residents and nonprofit organization representatives to join Hartford Foundation President Jay Williams and his staff for a comprehensive discussion on community challenges and successes. Maya Moore, Courant Community, "The Hartford Foundation's Listening Tour To Stop In Wethersfield Next," 5 July 2018 In a statement to WXIA, Grant said that the officer's behavior is not representative of the standards of the Roswell Police Department. Farnoush Amiri, NBC News, "Georgia officers on leave over after coin-toss used before decision to make arrest," 13 July 2018 Cisco’s momentum is representative of how some older technology giants are finding ways to survive vast changes in their markets, forces that felled earlier standard-bearers like IBM in personal computers and Nokia in mobile phones. New York Times, "Cisco Chief Executive’s New Mantra: Simplify Computer Networks," 10 July 2018 Inspections capture snapshots on the day they are conducted and may not be representative of a restaurant's performance over time, regulatory agencies say. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Trump vs. Red Hen restaurant: Eateries in Trump properties also dinged for violations," 5 July 2018 In this sense the Bulgarian presidency of the Council of the European Union (including some aspects of its domestic politics) might be more representative of the European Union than many within Europe would like to believe. Julia Rone, Washington Post, "Bulgaria’s turn to lead the Council of the European Union just ended. How did things go?," 5 July 2018 Both strikers have scored twice at the World Cup tournament so far and are representative of the good form of their respective countries. SI.com, "Luis Suarez Takes Antoine Griezmann Down a Peg or Two on 'Second Country' Uruguay Claims," 4 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.

See More

First Known Use of representative

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1635, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about representative

Share representative

Phrases Related to representative

the House of Representatives

Statistics for representative

Last Updated

28 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for representative

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on representative

What made you want to look up representative? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!