(1)   Being or characteristic of government by representation in which citizens exercise power through elected officers and representatives
"Representative government as defined by Abraham Lincoln is government of the people, by the people, for the people"
(2)   Standing for something else
"The bald eagle is representative of the United States"
(3)   Serving to represent or typify
"Representative moviegoers"
"A representative modern play"


(4)   An item of information that is representative of a type
"This patient provides a typical example of the syndrome"
"There is an example on page 10"
(5)   A member of the United States House of Representatives
(6)   A person who represents others
(7)   An advocate who represents someone else's policy or purpose
"The meeting was attended by spokespersons for all the major organs of government"


  1. Typical; having the same properties of interest as a larger group.
    Are you sure this paper is representative of your child's writing?
    If you took all the fools out of the legislature, it wouldn't be a representative body anymore. — Texas State Senator Carl Parker.


  1. One who may speak for another in a particular capacity, especially in negotiation.
    I will send a representative to work out the details of the contract.
  2. A member of the US House of Representatives.
    All representatives face re-election every two years.
  3. A designated member of an equivalence class.
    We usually choose 0 and 1 as representatives of the even and odd numbers.

Related terms