tr.v. rep·re·sent·ed, rep·re·sent·ing, rep·re·sents
a. To have as a meaning, suggestion, or association; stand for or symbolize: The rose represents beauty. The bald eagle represents the United States.
b. To indicate or communicate by signs or symbols: Letters of the alphabet represent sounds.
a. To depict in art; portray: The painting represents a woman wearing a hat.
b. To describe or present in words; set forth: The article represents the shortcomings of our school system in some detail.
c. To act the part or role of: represented the villain in the story.
3. To present clearly to the mind: How are sense data represented to the mind?
4. To draw attention to by way of remonstrance or protest: Our parents represented to us the need for greater caution.
5. To describe or put forward (a person or thing) as an embodiment of a specified quality: tried to represent his opponent as untrustworthy.
a. To serve as a delegate or agent for: She represents a district that is very concerned about high rents.
b. To act as a spokesperson for.
7. To be an example or examples of: The museum had several paintings representing the artist's early style.
8. To be the equivalent of; amount to: The money in the bank represents the better part of their life savings.
[Middle English representen, from Old French representer, from Latin repraesentāre, to show : re-, re- + praesentāre, to present; see PRESENT2.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.