Definition of representation in English:


Line breaks: rep¦re¦sen|ta¦tion
Pronunciation: /ˌrɛprɪzɛnˈteɪʃ(ə)n


[mass noun]
  • 1The action of speaking or acting on behalf of someone or the state of being so represented: you may qualify for free legal representation
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    • Because representation through speaking is impossible, Ginsberg is free to do whatever he wants to answer a question.
    • Surely this isn't our musical representation speaking out on behalf of urban youth everywhere and finally, we don't have to be ashamed?
    • He felt that they should have better representation in the acting world.
  • 2The description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way: the representation of women in newspapers
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    • It does, however, authorize and inform the tensions between the past and the present, the historical event and its representation, that I have been describing.
    • Ingres based his representation of the Cardinal on Raphael's portrait of him and that of Raphael on a supposed self-portrait.
    • They are then more the implicit signifiers of his own subject position than they are his explicit analysis or representation of such contradictions.
  • 2.1The depiction of someone or something in a work of art: Picasso is striving for some absolute representation of reality
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    • I enjoyed Russell's depiction of the redundancy in Los Angeles and his visual representation of Creation.
    • Denoncourt's Via crucis explores a boy's imaginative interpretation of the Catholic iconic representation of the crucifixion and ascension of Christ.
    • Since such painting is relativist - as concerned with style and representation as it is with reality - the artist draws no conclusions.
  • 2.2 [count noun] A picture, model, or other depiction of someone or something: a striking representation of a vase of flowers
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    • Poussin's view of the genre, as a representation modelled on true nature, echoes the meaning of the caprice in at least one form of literature.
    • It is my contention that Van Eyck's picture is a posthumous representation of Costanza, the only wife of Giovanni di Nicolao of whose existence we find any evidence.
    • An object model is a representation of the information, content and structure which needs to be exchanged or shared.
  • 2.3(In some theories of perception) a mental state or concept regarded as corresponding to a thing perceived.
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    • In this account, mental consciousness, and the ability to form mental representation, owe their existence to, and are correlated with the brain.
    • Clearly, three decades of feminist theory of representation have yet to have any perceptible impact on Balthus studies.
    • It is this movement to an image of abstract ambiguity, both still and pulsating in time, which saves the films from repeating the stereotypes of feminist film theories of representation.
  • 3 (representations) Formal statements made to an authority, especially so as to communicate an opinion or register a protest: the Law Society will make representations to the Lord Chancellor
  • 3.1 [count noun] A statement or allegation: any buyer was relying on a representation that the tapes were genuine
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    • Many people worry about how to respond to those representations both critically and supportively.
    • As an auditor, Tim had understood that management representations required appropriate questioning.
    • In all three cases, our members accepted management's representations and issued unqualified audit reports on the statements presented.
    statement, deposition, allegation, claim; declaration, account, exposition, report, argument; protestation, remonstrance, expostulation


late Middle English (in the sense 'image, likeness'): from Old French representation or Latin repraesentatio(n-), from repraesentare 'bring before, exhibit' (see represent).

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