Meaning of “represent” in the English Dictionary

"represent" in British English

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representverb

uk /ˌrep.rɪˈzent/ us /ˌrep.rɪˈzent/

represent verb (ACT FOR)

C2 [ T ] to speak, act, or be present officially for another person or people:

They chose a famous barrister to represent them in court.
Union officials representing the teachers met the government today.
I sent my husband to represent me at the funeral.
Women were well/poorly represented at the conference (= there were many/few present).

[ T ] to be the Member of Parliament, or of Congress, etc. for a particular area:

Ed Smythe represents Barnet.

C2 [ T ] to be the person from a country, school, etc. that is in a competition:

She was chosen to represent France at the Olympics.

formal to express or complain about something, to a person in authority:

We represented our grievances/demands to the boss.

More examples

  • All the local churches were represented at the memorial service.
  • All the nations of the world will be represented at the conference.
  • A group of four teachers were delegated to represent the school at the union conference.
  • They purport to represent the wishes of the majority of parents at the school.
  • A friend of the victim was subpoenaed as a witness by lawyers representing the accused.

represent verb (DESCRIBE)

C2 [ T ] to show or describe something or someone:

[ + -ing verb ] The statue represents St. George killing the dragon.
This new report represents the current situation in our schools.
He represents himself as an expert, but he knows nothing.

B2 [ T ] to be a sign or symbol of something:

To many people the White House represents the identity of the United States.

More examples

  • ¼ and 0.25 are different ways of representing the same fraction.
  • The wild cards are represented here by asterisks.
  • The decimal system represents numbers in terms of groups of ten.
  • Each number on the scale represents twice the speed of the preceding number.
  • Writers of realist novels try to represent life as it is.

represent verb (BE)

B2 [ L only + noun ] to be the result of something, or to be something:

This book represents ten years of thought and research.
The new offer represented an increase of 10 percent on the previous one.

More examples

  • The course represents excellent value for money.
  • This huge, unfinished building represents the last hurrah of the former regime.
  • The new price represents a saving of more than 40 percent.
  • This new policy represents a change of direction for the government.
  • Her father's blessing represented a bestowal of consent upon her marriage.

(Definition of “represent” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"represent" in American English

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representverb

us /ˌrep·rɪˈzent/

represent verb (ACT FOR)

[ T ] to speak, act, or be present officially for a person or group:

His law firm is representing a dozen of the families involved in that disaster.

represent verb (DESCRIBE)

[ T ] to show or describe something, or to be a sign or symbol of something:

The memorial represents the sacrifice of men and women who gave their lives in war.

represent verb (BE)

[ L ] to be the result of something, or to be something:

This represents years of work.
China and India represent 40% of the world’s population.
representation
noun [ U ] us /ˌrep·rɪ·zenˈteɪ·ʃən, -zən-/

People too poor to pay for legal representation get a public defender.

(Definition of “represent” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"represent" in Business English

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representverb [ T ]

uk /ˌreprɪˈzent/ us

to speak for a person, organization, etc.:

A delegation was in Japan last week to represent the industry in high-level trade talks.
The union does not represent temporary workers.
represent sb's interests/views We need an organisation to represent the interests of the whole workforce.

LAW to defend someone in a court of law:

He's an eminent tax lawyer and has represented several top companies in high-profile cases.

to be something or to be equal to something:

This sum of money represents a large percentage of our working capital.
The removal of trade barriers represents an important market opportunity for this organisation.

GRAPHS & CHARTS if a part of a picture or drawing represents something, it shows a particular piece of information:

Each line in the diagram represents a business relationship.

(Definition of “represent” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)