[ rep-ri-zent ]
See synonyms for: representre-presentedre-presentingre-presents on

verb (used with object)
  1. 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.

  2. to express or designate by some term, character, symbol, or the like: to represent musical sounds by notes.

  1. to stand or act in the place of, as a substitute, proxy, or agent does: He represents the company in Boston.

  2. to speak and act for by delegated authority: to represent one's government in a foreign country.

  3. 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.

  4. to portray or depict; present the likeness of, as a picture does: The painting represents him as a man 22 years old.

  5. to present or picture to the mind.

  6. to present in words; set forth; describe; state.

  7. 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.

  8. to set forth clearly or earnestly with a view to influencing opinion or action or making protest.

  9. to present, produce, or perform, as on a stage.

  10. to impersonate, as in acting.

  11. to serve as an example or specimen of; exemplify: a genus represented by two species.

  12. to be the equivalent of; correspond to: The llama of the New World represents the camel of the Old World.

verb (used without object)
  1. to protest; make representations against.

  2. 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

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English representen, from Middle French representer, from Latin repraesentāre “to bring about immediately, make present,” equivalent to re- re- + praesentāre “to present2

Other words for represent

Other words from represent

  • rep·re·sent·a·ble, adjective
  • rep·re·sent·a·bil·i·ty, noun
  • non·rep·re·sent·a·ble, adjective
  • pre·rep·re·sent, verb (used with object)
  • un·rep·re·sent·a·ble, adjective

Words that may be confused with represent

Words Nearby represent

Other definitions for re-present (2 of 2)

[ ree-pri-zent ]

verb (used with object)
  1. to present again or anew.

Origin of re-present

First recorded in 1555–65; re- + present2

Words that may be confused with re-present Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use represent in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for represent (1 of 2)


/ (ˌrɛprɪˈzɛnt) /

  1. to stand as an equivalent of; correspond to: our tent represents home to us when we go camping

  2. to act as a substitute or proxy (for)

  1. to act as or be the authorized delegate or agent for (a person, country, etc): an MP represents his constituency

  2. to serve or use as a means of expressing: letters represent the sounds of speech

  3. to exhibit the characteristics of; exemplify; typify: romanticism in music is represented by Beethoven

  4. to present an image of through the medium of a picture or sculpture; portray

  5. to bring clearly before the mind

  6. to set forth in words; state or explain

  7. to describe as having a specified character or quality; make out to be: he represented her as a saint

  8. to act out the part of on stage; portray

  9. to perform or produce (a play); stage

Origin of represent

C14: from Latin repraesentāre to exhibit, from re- + praesentāre to present ²

Derived forms of represent

  • representable, adjective
  • representability, noun

British Dictionary definitions for re-present (2 of 2)


/ (ˌriːprɪˈzɛnt) /

  1. (tr) to present again

Derived forms of re-present

  • re-presentation (ˌriːprɛzənˈteɪʃən), noun

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