Definition of represent in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌreprəˈzent/


[with object]
1Be entitled or appointed to act or speak for (someone), especially in an official capacity: for purposes of litigation, an infant can and must be represented by an adult
More example sentences
  • The ICTU is under massive pressure from trade union officials representing workers in the private sector.
  • One of them is to appoint a non-executive Director to represent consumers, and I suspect the appointment will be heavily influenced by the Government.
  • To represent members effectively, directors must know what members need.
appear for, act for, speak on behalf of
informal go to bat for
1.1(Of a competitor) participate in a sports event or other competition on behalf of (one’s club, town, region, or country): Owens represented the U.S.
More example sentences
  • This year 113 competitors represented twenty-six countries.
  • Coke would not comment on the player identities saying that contracts had not been finalized, but did say a player representing each country of origin in the Latino community would be represented.
  • This year's event will feature 27 international galleries representing countries such as Japan, The Czech Republic.
1.2Be an elected member of a legislature for (a particular constituency, party, or group): she became the first woman to represent her district
More example sentences
  • Its principle task is to draw up a constitution, agreed by a parliament representing each Iraqi community.
  • ‘But my past has nothing to do with what happens with my son,’ said Zainuri, who is now a local legislator representing a Muslim party in Madiun.
  • The Justice Party today is not represented in the Danish Parliament, nor has it been for 15 years.
1.3 (usually be represented) Act as a substitute for (someone), especially on an official or ceremonial occasion: the president was represented by the secretary of state
More example sentences
  • In Ottawa, the Queen is represented by the Governor-General who acts as her official host when she is in Canada, and in the provinces the Lieutenant-Governors fill the same role.
deputize for, substitute for, stand in for
2Constitute; amount to: this figure represents eleven percent of the company’s total sales
More example sentences
  • Compared to the annual value, this drop represents an 11.5 percent reduction in regressivity.
  • The amount represents the largest source of money, outweighing contributions from labor unions and political parties.
  • So, this represents the amount of money that would be left over if a company were to sell all of its assets at fair market value and then pay off all of liabilities.
constitute, be, amount to, be regarded as
2.1Be a specimen or example of; typify: twenty parents, picked to represent a cross section of rural life
More example sentences
  • Lucrecia Martel, Paula Hernandez, Vanessa Ragone and Julia Solomonoff represent the clearest example of a new generation that is changing the face of cinema.
  • Tears of the Sun is not a great movie, but it is satisfying, and represents an example of accomplished film-making.
  • While in Thailand they might decide to take a tour of Bangkok city and Temple, which includes three of the most unusual Buddhist temples in Bangkok representing the finest examples of Thai architecture.
be a typical sample of, be representative of, typify
2.2 (be represented) (Of a group or type of person or thing) be present or found in something, especially to a particular degree: abstraction is well represented in this exhibition
More example sentences
  • While these women may be excluded and discarded from the present, this present is also represented as something that doesn't offer much worth claiming.
  • Likewise, child readers of the biographies were implicitly encouraged to identify their present with the past represented in the narratives they read.
  • He is now free to wander and interact with less restraint, and, as such, his presence is represented with greater frequency.
3Depict (a particular subject) in a picture or other work of art: santos are small wooden figures representing saints
More example sentences
  • Such a rethinking would not necessarily reject outright the possibility that such images represent their subjects through physiognomic likeness.
  • Mayan examples are identified by glyphs and attributes, and are understood to represent specific subjects.
  • As a result, a well-trained artist does not need a life model or a preparatory sketch to represent a particular subject.
depict, portray, render, picture, delineate, show, illustrate
literary limn
3.1 [with object or infinitive] Describe or depict (someone or something) as being of a certain nature; portray in a particular way: the young were consistently represented as being in need of protection
More example sentences
  • Hermetic poetry was a poetry that sought, not to describe or represent, but to evoke.
  • Unmistakably, too, this description represents an aspect of his own aspiration.
  • Aspirations best represent the dreams of young women, while expectations reflect a realistic view of the world.
describe as, present as, profess to be, claim to be, pass oneself off as, pose as, pretend to be
3.2(Of a sign or symbol) have a particular signification; stand for: the numbers 1-10 represent the letters A-J
More example sentences
  • The term was first used in a French treatise on dance by Raoul-Auger Feuillet and Pierre Beauchamp to denote graphic symbols representing the movement of the feet.
  • All throughout the menus, you'll see spinning 3D symbols representing your selected option - you'll even see tires spinning in the car configuration option that carry the assigned tread.
  • When teachers describe for a student the actions that take place in a particular movement, the words they use are symbols representing a more abstract concept.
stand for, designate, denote
literary betoken
3.3Be a symbol or embodiment of (a particular quality or thing): the three heads of Cerberus represent the past, present, and future
More example sentences
  • Wikipedia represents a fascinating embodiment of that collective understanding because it is open to contributions from all members of the human collective.
  • Yet this could represent the Ghost's embodiment of the disciples' moment of doubt and fear, rather than the atheism of modern generations.
  • The law represents an embodiment of a society's values and legal frameworks are becoming increasingly important to the study of marketing.
symbolize, stand for, personify, epitomize, typify, embody, illustrate
3.4Play the part of (someone) in a theatrical production.
Example sentences
  • From his personal library of images Paul has used footage shot almost 20 years ago of his daughter Kyra at age 3, representing the role of Nijinsky's own daughter Kyra.
  • The means of stage expression is also restricted by Yew's choice to employ only five actors to represent the many figures who appear throughout the play.
4 formal State or point out (something) clearly: it was represented to him that she would be an unsuitable wife
point out, state, present, put forward
4.1 [with clause] Allege; claim: the vendors have represented that such information is accurate
More example sentences
  • Further, he claims Eircom wrongly represented that the agreed discount was for £85,000.
  • The company also represented that they had helped it to hedge downside risk.
  • He further represented that he had the bank's authority to make a direct contract between it and the payee by the use of the cheque card.



Pronunciation: /ˌrepriˌzentəˈbilətē/
Example sentences
  • In his dissertation, Riemann studied the representability of functions by trigonometric series and gave the conditions for a function to have an integral (what we now call ‘Riemann integrability’).
  • In 1829, Dirichlet deduced the representability by Fourier series of a class of functions defined by concepts.
  • This is not a simple performative, but one which operates through exclusionary operations that come back to haunt the very claim of representability that it seeks to make.


Pronunciation: /ˌreprəˈzen(t)əb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Existence is not dialectical, not representable.
  • In 1941 he received the degree of Doctor of Science for a dissertation Structure of isomorphic representable infinite algebras and groups.
  • These images were perpetuating certain ideas about what is and is not representable in our culture.


Late Middle English: from Old French representer or Latin repraesentare, from re- (expressing intensive force) + praesentare 'to present'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: rep·re·sent

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