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.
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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
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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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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

representatives definition

Popularly elected officials who serve in state legislatures and in the House of Representatives in Congress. Representing the local districts from which they are elected, representatives support the interests of their constituents by proposing bills and programs. Elected for two-year terms, representatives in Congress must be sensitive to their constituents' concerns in order to be reelected.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Representatives of all of them, in one form or another, live in your garden.
As official representatives of their governments, diplomats were obliged to
  uphold the policies of their countries.
The representatives of church and state had their reasons for this approach.
In a normal democracy, voters choose their representatives.
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