a person or thing that represents another or others.
an agent or deputy: a legal representative.
a person who represents a constituency or community in a legislative body, especially a member of the U.S. House of Representatives or a lower house in certain state legislatures.
a typical example or specimen of a group, quality, or kind.
serving to represent; representing.
standing or acting for another or others.
made up of representatives: a representative assembly.
Government. of or pertaining to a system of governance by chosen representatives, usually elected from among a large group, as in representative democracy; representative government.
exemplifying a group or kind; typical: a representative selection of Elizabethan plays.
corresponding to or replacing some other species or the like, as in a different locality.
of, pertaining to, or characteristic of representationalism.
pertaining to or of the nature of a mental image or representation.

1350–1400; Middle English (adj.) < Medieval Latin repraesentātīvus, equivalent to repraesentāt(us) (see representation) + -īvus -ive

representatively, adverb
representativeness, noun
nonrepresentative, noun, adjective
nonrepresentatively, adverb
nonrepresentativeness, noun
overrepresentative, adjective
overrepresentatively, adverb
overrepresentativeness, noun
unrepresentative, adjective
unrepresentatively, adverb
unrepresentativeness, noun

5. symbolic, exemplary, typical, characteristic. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To representative democracy
World English Dictionary
representative (ˌrɛprɪˈzɛntətɪv)
1.  a person or thing that represents another or others
2.  Often shortened to: rep a person who represents and tries to sell the products or services of a firm, esp a travelling salesman
3.  a typical example
4.  See also House of Representatives a person representing a constituency in a deliberative, legislative, or executive body, esp (capital) a member of the House of Representatives (the lower house of Congress)
5.  (NZ) a rugby player, football player, etc, chosen to represent a province in interprovincial sports
6.  serving to represent; symbolic
7.  a.  exemplifying a class or kind; typical: a representative example of the species
 b.  containing or including examples of all the interests, types, etc, in a group: a representative collection
8.  acting as deputy or proxy for another or others
9.  acting for or representing a constituency or the whole people in the process of government: a representative council
10.  of, characterized by, or relating to the political principle of representation of the people: representative government
11.  of or relating to a mental picture or representation

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  representative democracy
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  a type of democracy in which the citizens delegate authority to elected representatives's 21st Century Lexicon
Copyright © 2003-2014, LLC
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Word Origin & History

"serving to represent," late 14c., from O.Fr. representatif (early 14c.), from M.L. repræsentativus, from L. repræsentare (see represent), Meaning "standing for others" is from 1620s; in the political sense of "holding the place of the people in the government,
having citizens represented by chosen persons" is first recorded 1620s. Noun use first recorded 1640s; first used 1690s in noun sense of "member of a legislative body."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
She was pitchforked from absolutism to representative democracy, with a
  unicameral parliament on the best modern lines.
Representative democracy does not work with an all-powerful central government,
  arrogating all decisions to itself.
Our representative democracy only works when citizens are willing to be
  involved in their government.
Research has shown that civic engagement is essential for maintaining a
  representative democracy.
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