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.
  3. to stand or act in the place of, as a substitute, proxy, or agent does: He represents the company in Boston.
  4. to speak and act for by delegated authority: to represent one's government in a foreign country.
  5. 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.
  6. to portray or depict; present the likeness of, as a picture does: The painting represents him as a man 22 years old.
  7. to present or picture to the mind.
  8. to present in words; set forth; describe; state.
  9. 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.
  10. to set forth clearly or earnestly with a view to influencing opinion or action or making protest.
  11. to present, produce, or perform, as on a stage.
  12. to impersonate, as in acting.
  13. to serve as an example or specimen of; exemplify: a genus represented by two species.
  14. 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

1325–75; Middle English representen < Middle French representer < Latin repraesentāre to bring about immediately, make present, equivalent to re- re- + praesentāre to present2
Related formsrep·re·sent·a·ble, adjectiverep·re·sent·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·rep·re·sent·a·ble, adjectivepre·rep·re·sent, verb (used with object)un·rep·re·sent·a·ble, adjective
Can be confusedre-present represent

Synonyms for represent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for representable

Historical Examples of representable

  • It is represented, or at least representable, before its realization.

    Creative Evolution

    Henri Bergson

  • It is represented or at least representable, before its realization.

  • 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 (tr)
  1. to stand as an equivalent of; correspond toour tent represents home to us when we go camping
  2. to act as a substitute or proxy (for)
  3. to act as or be the authorized delegate or agent for (a person, country, etc)an MP represents his constituency
  4. to serve or use as a means of expressingletters represent the sounds of speech
  5. to exhibit the characteristics of; exemplify; typifyromanticism in music is represented by Beethoven
  6. to present an image of through the medium of a picture or sculpture; portray
  7. to bring clearly before the mind
  8. to set forth in words; state or explain
  9. to describe as having a specified character or quality; make out to behe represented her as a saint
  10. to act out the part of on stage; portray
  11. to perform or produce (a play); stage
Derived Formsrepresentable, adjectiverepresentability, noun

Word Origin for represent

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

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