represent

Use the word represent when something stands in for something else — whether it's your congressman representing your interests in Washington or the thimble that represents you as it makes its way around the Monopoly board.

We live in a democracy in which we elect a few people to represent the wishes and desires of the rest of us. Their job is literally to "re-present" the voters' demands in Congress. That's why we call them our "representatives." In the world of art, however, to represent something can mean to express its essence by means of something different. For example a ball of string can represent, or symbolize, a cat.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: represent

1
v
be a delegate or spokesperson for; represent somebody's interest or be a proxy or substitute for, as of politicians and office holders representing their constituents, or of a tenant representing other tenants in a housing dispute
2
v
take the place of or be parallel or equivalent to
3
v
create an image or likeness of
4
v
describe or present, usually with respect to a particular quality
5
v
to establish a mapping (of mathematical elements or sets)
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: represent
1

v be a delegate or spokesperson for; represent somebody's interest or be a proxy or substitute for, as of politicians and office holders representing their constituents, or of a tenant representing other tenants in a housing dispute

“I represent the silent majority”
Type of:
serve
do duty or hold offices; serve in a specific function

v be the defense counsel for someone in a trial

“Ms. Smith will represent the defendant”
Synonyms:
defend
Antonyms:
prosecute
bring a criminal action against (in a trial)
2

v take the place of or be parallel or equivalent to

Synonyms:
correspond, stand for
Type of:
be, equal
be identical or equivalent to

v form or compose

“This sum represents my entire income for a year”
Synonyms:
be, comprise, constitute, make up
Types:
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make
constitute the essence of
compose
form the substance of
constitute, form, make
to compose or represent:"This wall forms the background of the stage setting"
range, straddle
range or extend over; occupy a certain area
fall into, fall under
be included in or classified as
pose, present
introduce
supplement
serve as a supplement to
chelate
form a chelate, in chemistry
spread-eagle
stretch over
add
constitute an addition

v express indirectly by an image, form, or model; be a symbol

Synonyms:
stand for, symbolise, symbolize, typify
Types:
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be, embody, personify
represent, as of a character on stage
epitomise, epitomize, typify
embody the essential characteristics of or be a typical example of
body, personify
invest with or as with a body; give body to
exemplify
be characteristic of
Type of:
intend, mean
mean or intend to express or convey

v be characteristic of

Synonyms:
exemplify
Type of:
be, embody, personify
represent, as of a character on stage

v be representative or typical for

“This period is represented by Beethoven”
Types:
instantiate
represent by an instance
speak for
be a spokesperson for
Type of:
be
have the quality of being; (copula, used with an adjective or a predicate noun)

v serve as a means of expressing something

“The flower represents a young girl”
Types:
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belie, misrepresent
represent falsely
dramatise, dramatize
represent something in a dramatic manner
portray
portray in words
embody
represent or express something abstract in tangible form
sentimentalise, sentimentalize
look at with sentimentality or turn into an object of sentiment
distort, falsify, garble, warp
make false by mutilation or addition; as of a message or story
affect, dissemble, feign, pretend, sham
make believe with the intent to deceive
overdramatise, overdramatize
present in an overly dramatic manner
Type of:
express, give tongue to, utter, verbalise, verbalize
articulate; either verbally or with a cry, shout, or noise
3

v create an image or likeness of

“The painter represented his wife as a young girl”
Synonyms:
interpret
Types:
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carnalize, sensualize
represent materialistically, as in a painting or a sculpture
silhouette
represent by a silhouette
animalise, animalize
represent in the form of an animal
profile
represent in profile, by drawing or painting
paint
make a painting of
capture
succeed in representing or expressing something intangible
depict, picture, render, show
show in, or as in, a picture
conventionalize, stylise, stylize
represent according to a conventional style
map
make a map of; show or establish the features of details of
depict, limn, portray
make a portrait of
portray, present
represent abstractly, for example in a painting, drawing, or sculpture
draw
represent by making a drawing of, as with a pencil, chalk, etc. on a surface
mock up, model
construct a model of
chart, graph
represent by means of a graph
chart
make a chart of
plat, plot
make a plat of
repaint
paint again
recapture
take up anew
illustrate
depict with an illustration
map
depict as if on a map
pencil
write, draw, or trace with a pencil
commend
present as worthy of regard, kindness, or confidence
delineate, limn, outline
trace the shape of
rule
mark or draw with a ruler
chalk
write, draw, or trace with chalk
project
draw a projection of
crayon
write, draw, or trace with a crayon
check, checker, chequer
mark into squares or draw squares on; draw crossed lines on
charcoal
draw, trace, or represent with charcoal
doodle
make a doodle; draw aimlessly
diagram, plot
make a schematic or technical drawing of that shows interactions among variables or how something is constructed
cartoon
draw cartoons of
fill in, shade
represent the effect of shade or shadow on
chalk out, sketch
make a sketch of
Type of:
re-create
create anew

v play a role or part

Synonyms:
act, play
act, act as, play
pretend to have certain qualities or state of mind
act, play, playact, roleplay
perform on a stage or theater
play
pretend to be somebody in the framework of a game or playful activity
Types:
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make, make believe, pretend
represent fictitiously, as in a play, or pretend to be or act like
support
play a subordinate role to (another performer)
act out, enact, reenact
act out; represent or perform as if in a play
act out
represent an incident, state, or emotion by action, especially on stage
impersonate, portray
assume or act the character of
parody
make a spoof of or make fun of
emote
give expression or emotion to, in a stage or movie role
go through the motions
pretend to do something by acting as if one was really doing it
Type of:
re-create
create anew

v perform (a play), especially on a stage

Synonyms:
present, stage
Types:
localise, localize, place, set
locate
Type of:
re-create
create anew
4

v describe or present, usually with respect to a particular quality

“He represented this book as an example of the Russian 19th century novel”
Types:
symbolise, symbolize
represent or identify by using a symbol; use symbols
actualise, actualize
represent or describe realistically
Type of:
depict, describe, draw
give a description of

v bring forward and present to the mind

“We cannot represent this knowledge to our formal reason”
Synonyms:
lay out, present
Types:
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argue, reason
present reasons and arguments
argue, indicate
give evidence of
spin
twist and turn so as to give an intended interpretation
re-argue
argue again
expostulate
reason with (somebody) for the purpose of dissuasion
defend, fend for, support
argue or speak in defense of
sugarcoat
cause to appear more pleasant or appealing
Type of:
say, state, tell
express in words

v point out or draw attention to in protest or remonstrance

“our parents represented to us the need for more caution”
Type of:
point out, remonstrate
present and urge reasons in opposition
5

v to establish a mapping (of mathematical elements or sets)

Synonyms:
map
Type of:
commute, permute, transpose
change the order or arrangement of
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