views updated May 17 2018

rep·re·sen·ta·tive / ˌrepriˈzentətiv/ • adj. 1. typical of a class, group, or body of opinion: these courses are representative of those taken by most Harvard undergraduates. ∎  containing typical examples of many or all types: a representative sample of young people in the South.2. (of a legislative or deliberative assembly) consisting of people chosen to act and speak on behalf of a wider group. ∎  (of a government or political system) based on representation of the people by such deputies: free elections and representative democracy.3. serving as a portrayal or symbol of something: the show should be more representative of how women really are. ∎  (of art) representational: the bust involves a high degree of representative abstraction.4. Philos. of or relating to mental representation.• n. 1. a person chosen or appointed to act or speak for another or others, in particular: ∎  an agent of a firm who travels to potential clients to sell its products. ∎  an employee of a travel company who looks after the needs of its vacationing clients. ∎  a person chosen or elected to speak and act on behalf of others in a legislative assembly or deliberative body. ∎  a delegate who attends a conference, negotiations, legal hearing, etc., so as to represent the interests of another person or group. ∎  a person who takes the place of another on a ceremonial or official occasion.2. an example of a class or group: fossil representatives of lampreys and hagfishes.DERIVATIVES: rep·re·sent·a·tive·ly adv.rep·re·sent·a·tive·ness n.


views updated Jun 11 2018


An individual who stands in the place of another.

With respect to constitutional law, a representative is an individual chosen by the electorate to serve as its spokesperson in a legislative body, such as the Senate or House of Representatives.

A personal representative is an individual who is named in a will, or appointed by a probate court, to supervise the distribution of property remaining after another individual's death.