verb (used with object)
- to serve to express, designate, stand for, or denote, as a word, symbol, or the like does; symbolize: In this painting the cat represents evil and the bird, good.
- to express or designate by some term, character, symbol, or the like: to represent musical sounds by notes.
- to stand or act in the place of, as a substitute, proxy, or agent does: He represents the company in Boston.
- to speak and act for by delegated authority: to represent one’s government in a foreign country.
- to act for or in behalf of (a constituency, state, etc.) by deputed right in exercising a voice in legislation or government: He represents Chicago’s third Congressional district.
- to portray or depict; present the likeness of, as a picture does: The painting represents him as a man 22 years old.
- to present or picture to the mind.
- to present in words; set forth; describe; state.
- to set forth or describe as having a particular character (usually followed by as, to be, etc.): The article represented the dictator as a benevolent despot.
- to set forth clearly or earnestly with a view to influencing opinion or action or making protest.
- to present, produce, or perform, as on a stage.
- to impersonate, as in acting.
- to serve as an example or specimen of; exemplify: a genus represented by two species.
- to be the equivalent of; correspond to: The llama of the New World represents the camel of the Old World.
verb (used without object)
- to protest; make representations against.
- Slang. to use or display a secret handshake, sign, gesture, etc., for purposes of identification: The gang members always represent when they see one another.
- to stand as an equivalent of; correspond toour tent represents home to us when we go camping
- to act as a substitute or proxy (for)
- to act as or be the authorized delegate or agent for (a person, country, etc)an MP represents his constituency
- to serve or use as a means of expressingletters represent the sounds of speech
- to exhibit the characteristics of; exemplify; typifyromanticism in music is represented by Beethoven
- to present an image of through the medium of a picture or sculpture; portray
- to bring clearly before the mind
- to set forth in words; state or explain
- to describe as having a specified character or quality; make out to behe represented her as a saint
- to act out the part of on stage; portray
- to perform or produce (a play); stage
late 14c., “to bring to mind by description,” also “to symbolize, serve as a sign or symbol of; serve as the type or embodiment of;” from Old French representer “present, show, portray” (12c.), from Latin repraesentare “make present, set in view, show, exhibit, display,” from re-, intensive prefix (see re-), + praesentare “to present,” literally “to place before” (see present (v.)). Legislative sense is attested from 1650s. Related: Represented; representing.