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 The poll also provides the first nationally representative look at what actions employers are taking to protect workers. Tim Craig, Anchorage Daily News, "Majority of Americans going to work fear exposing their household to coronavirus, poll indicates," 15 May 2020 The survey asked questions of a representative group of 2,200 Americans in April. Jeremy Engle, New York Times, "How Is Your Family Dividing Responsibilities During the Quarantine?," 15 May 2020 They're presented below, divided into five sub-groups with two representative films in each: pandemic, lab accident/zombies, quarantine, fear of the outdoors, and comic relief. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Indulge your morbid curiosity about the pandemic with these ten films," 3 May 2020 In recent days, authorities have said for the first time that Beijing’s representative offices in the territory can — a step that legal experts say with the mainland. Washington Post, "One country, one system: The week that China shredded its promise on Hong Kong," 24 Apr. 2020 Both registered satellite parties in a bid to win more proportional representative seats. Kim Tong-hyung, The Christian Science Monitor, "South Korea: How to run an election during a pandemic," 15 Apr. 2020 This area of the mountains is part of the crucial Northern Sierra 8-Station Index, an average of eight precipitation measuring sites that provide a representative sample of the northern Sierra’s major watersheds. Los Angeles Times, "Spring rain and snow fell short of miraculous for most of California," 30 Apr. 2020 And because the virus’ spread is not entirely understood, there’s the difficulty of isolating a representative sample of the population from which to make inferences. Kurtis Alexander, SFChronicle.com, "Quick publicity of coronavirus research leads to some iffy conclusions," 28 Apr. 2020 AppZen, a company that uses A.I. to help companies manage employees’ expenses, looked for pandemic-era patterns in a representative sample from longtime customers. New York Times, "Other Silicon Valley chiefs are tapping their connections.," 28 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Coach Nick Jonas said his representative in the Four Way Knock Out has the voice of an angel. Jennie Key, Cincinnati.com, "Mason's Michael Williams was on 'The Voice' tonight and he needs your vote to continue," 21 Apr. 2020 Unlike Vanessa Bryant’s lengthy lawsuit, the new identical seven-page cases do not name the dead pilot, Ara Zobayan, or his representative, as a defendant. NBC News, "Families sue helicopter company in deadly Kobe Bryant crash," 21 Apr. 2020 Over the past two weeks, Mark Elliott has been writing Gov. Roy Cooper and his North Carolina congressional representatives, pleading for their assistance and highlighting blind spots in the PPP. Alicia Wallace, CNN, "Shake Shack, Ruth's Chris and other chain restaurants got big PPP loans when small businesses couldn't," 19 Apr. 2020 Doug Collins is actively touting support from a group that President Trump and his representatives have denounced? Melissa Quinn, CBS News, "Pro-Trump super PAC endorses Doug Collins in Georgia Senate race," 16 Apr. 2020 Alaoui believes he was fired in retaliation after his union representative posted the photo on Twitter in late March in a move to highlight the need for proper protective equipment at the hospital. Chase Difeliciantonio, SFChronicle.com, "Trash bag-wearing Oakland nurse’s firing raises questions over coronavirus protections," 15 Apr. 2020 In a news release today, Ivey’s office said crime victims and their representatives, public officials, and others who would normally attend hearings in person will be able to present their views to the board under the emergency order. Mike Cason | Mcason@al.com, al, "Alabama parole board to resume hearings under emergency order," 13 Apr. 2020 Group director Jeanie Chunn urges supporters in other states to call their representatives, too. Jessica Voelker, Condé Nast Traveler, "How to Support Small Business in Seattle During COVID-19," 13 Apr. 2020 My customer service representative was courteous and assured me that my refund would be forthcoming. The Washington Post, "Talk about Travel," 6 Apr. 2020

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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Time Traveler for representative

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for representative

Last Updated

21 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Representative.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/representative. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for representative

representative

adjective
How to pronounce representative (audio)

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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