Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To have as a meaning, suggestion, or association; stand for or symbolize.
  • transitive verb To indicate or communicate by signs or symbols.
  • transitive verb To depict in art; portray.
  • transitive verb To describe or present in words; set forth.
  • transitive verb To act the part or role of.
  • transitive verb To present clearly to the mind.
  • transitive verb To draw attention to by way of remonstrance or protest.
  • transitive verb To describe or put forward (a person or thing) as an embodiment of a specified quality.
  • transitive verb To serve as a delegate or agent for.
  • transitive verb To act as a spokesperson for.
  • transitive verb To be an example or examples of.
  • transitive verb To be the equivalent of; amount to.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Representation.
  • To present again; specifically, to bring again before the mind.
  • To present in place of something else; exhibit the image or counterpart of; suggest by being like; typify.
  • To portray by pictorial or plastic art.
  • To portray, present, or exhibit dramatically.
  • To enact; personate; present by mimicry or action.
  • To state; describe or portray in words; give one's own impressions, idea, or judgment of; declare; set forth.
  • To supply the place or perform the duties or functions of; specifically, to speak and act with authority on behalf of; be a substitute for, or a representative of or agent for.
  • Specifically, to stand in the place of, in the right of inheritance.
  • To serve as a sign or symbol of; stand for; be understood as: as, mathematical symbols represent quantities or relations; words represent ideas or things.
  • To serve as a type or specimen of; exemplify; furnish a case or instance of: as, a genus represented by few species; a species represented by many individuals; especially, in zoögeog., to replace; fill the part or place of (another) in any given fauna: as, llamas represent camels in the New World; the Old World starlings are represented in America by the Icteridæ. See mimotype.
  • To image or picture in the mind; place definitely before the mind.
  • Synonyms To show, express.
  • 3 and To delineate, depict, draw.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb To present again or anew; to present by means of something standing in the place of; to exhibit the counterpart or image of; to typify.
  • transitive verb To portray by pictoral or plastic art; to delineate.
  • transitive verb To portray by mimicry or action of any kind; to act the part or character of; to personate.
  • transitive verb To stand in the place of; to supply the place, perform the duties, exercise the rights, or receive the share, of; to speak and act with authority in behalf of; to act the part of (another)
  • transitive verb To exhibit to another mind in language; to show; to give one's own impressions and judgement of; to bring before the mind; to set forth; sometimes, to give an account of; to describe.
  • transitive verb To serve as a sign or symbol of
  • transitive verb To bring a sensation of into the mind or sensorium; to cause to be known, felt, or apprehended; to present.
  • transitive verb (Metaph.) To form or image again in consciousness, as an object of cognition or apprehension (something which was originally apprehended by direct presentation). See Presentative, 3.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To present again or anew; to present by means of something standing in the place of; to exhibit the counterpart or image of; to typify.
  • verb To portray by pictorial or plastic art; to delineate; as, to represent a landscape in a picture, a horse in bronze, and the like.
  • verb To portray by mimicry or action of any kind; to act the part or character of; to personate; as, to represent Hamlet.
  • verb To stand in the place of; to supply the place, perform the duties, exercise the rights, or receive the share, of; to speak and act with authority in behalf of; to act the part of (another); as, an heir represents his ancestor; an attorney represents his client in court; a member of Congress represents his district in Congress.
  • verb To exhibit to another mind in language; to show; to give one's own impressions and judgement of; to bring before the mind; to set forth; sometimes, to give an account of; to describe.
  • verb To serve as a sign or symbol of; as, mathematical symbols represent quantities or relations; words represent ideas or things.
  • verb To bring a sensation of into the mind or sensorium; to cause to be known, felt, or apprehended; to present.
  • verb To form or image again in consciousness, as an object of cognition or apprehension (something presentative, which was originally apprehended by direct presentation).

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb be the defense counsel for someone in a trial
  • verb point out or draw attention to in protest or remonstrance
  • verb create an image or likeness of
  • verb bring forward and present to the mind
  • verb express indirectly by an image, form, or model; be a symbol

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English representen, from Old French representer, from Latin repraesentāre, to show : re-, re- + praesentāre, to present; see present.]

Examples

Comments

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  • Katy Perry's song, "California Gurls" contains the line, "California Gurls, represent. Put your hands up." While not unheard of, this is an instance of the intransitive 'represent' (Merriam-Webster notes it as 'slang')

    July 12, 2010