Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[rep-ri-zent] /ˌrɛp rɪˈzɛnt/
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.
Origin of represent
1325-75; Middle English representen < Middle French representer < Latin repraesentāre to bring about immediately, make present, equivalent to re- re- + praesentāre to present2
Related forms
representable, adjective
representability, noun
nonrepresentable, adjective
prerepresent, verb (used with object)
unrepresentable, adjective
Can be confused
re-present, represent.
1. exemplify. 6. delineate. 12. portray. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for representable
Historical Examples
  • It is represented, or at least representable, before its realization.

    Creative Evolution Henri Bergson
  • It is represented or at least representable, before its realization.

    Bergson and His Philosophy J. Alexander Gunn
  • What is not determinable is not representable: of "becoming in general" I have only a verbal knowledge.

    Creative Evolution Henri Bergson
British Dictionary definitions for representable


verb (transitive)
to stand as an equivalent of; correspond to: our 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 expressing: letters represent the sounds of speech
to exhibit the characteristics of; exemplify; typify: romanticism 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 be: he represented her as a saint
to act out the part of on stage; portray
to perform or produce (a play); stage
Derived Forms
representable, adjective
representability, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Latin repraesentāre to exhibit, from re- + praesentāre to present²
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for representable



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for representable

Word Value for representable

Scrabble Words With Friends