Definition of representation in English:


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  • 1The action of speaking or acting on behalf of someone or the state of being so represented.

    ‘asylum-seekers should be guaranteed good legal advice and representation’
    • ‘Because representation through speaking is impossible, Ginsberg is free to do whatever he wants to answer a question.’
    • ‘Surely this isn't our musical representation speaking out on behalf of urban youth everywhere and finally, we don't have to be ashamed?’
    • ‘He felt that they should have better representation in the acting world.’
    • ‘This is a very different business relationship and you want to ensure that you have experienced representation and advice before you enter into a franchise agreement.’
    • ‘I want to broaden my scope into other areas and I will be launching a music enterprise of my own - a total music enterprise providing legal representation and management.’
    • ‘I reached a point where I was in over my head, so I went to the Trust and said ‘help me’ and so we got legal representation.’
    • ‘He would not be allowed legal representation even if he could afford it.’
    • ‘It is situated in Idris's own geographical territory but it is conceived by and aimed at those who are external to that space and who possess the means of representation and interpretation.’
    • ‘It will operate in a non-adversarial mode, will deal with bona fide cases and will reduce the need for legal representation, also a measure sought by Ibec.’
    • ‘This is not their remit, and you will need to have independent legal and fiscal representation abroad so that your overseas commitments are handled by someone who is expert in that particular region.’
    • ‘He arrived on Thursday, 3 August and left the following Monday, after helping to arrange legal representation for Harris.’
    • ‘Each board member was reportedly asked point blank if he or she had hired legal representation or discussed any financial details prior to this meeting.’
    • ‘If the attorney general is still no help, and your resources are low enough, you may qualify for free legal representation.’
    • ‘Legal representation has been granted to more than 70 witnesses, most of whom would be entitled to have their costs met.’
    • ‘Will legal or other representation be permitted and, if so, what rules will apply regarding liability for costs?’
    • ‘It is also based on, and mitigated by, the complex interface and interplay among forces of representation, recognition, rights and resources at the national level.’
    • ‘Such an interpretation, inevitably allegorical, must take allegory seriously, as a mode of both representation and interpretation.’
    • ‘In theory, continuity of legal representation is never lost.’
    • ‘It is also vital to investigate local legal representation during any reconnaissance mission and it is usually advisable not to purchase on the first trip.’
    • ‘The primacy of vision has so pervaded the idea of political representation that the rhetoric of good and evil seems naturally translated to the ability to emit light, or to bring to light.’
  • 2The description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way or as being of a certain nature.

    ‘the representation of women in newspapers’
    • ‘It does, however, authorize and inform the tensions between the past and the present, the historical event and its representation, that I have been describing.’
    • ‘Ingres based his representation of the Cardinal on Raphael's portrait of him and that of Raphael on a supposed self-portrait.’
    • ‘They are then more the implicit signifiers of his own subject position than they are his explicit analysis or representation of such contradictions.’
    • ‘Peter Krausz provides a useful introduction to this theme in his overview of representation of Indigenous people in Australian film history.’
    • ‘Not that any of this is enlightened, exactly, in terms of the representation of homosexuality.’
    • ‘These cultural processes have been present in the creation of visual representation in the United States since its founding, beginning with colonial portraiture.’
    • ‘Since ‘abjection is coextensive with the Symbolic Order,’ any representation of that order can be scrutinized for its hidden presence.’
    • ‘As such a strong and admirable character, Kate defies the traditional representation of a woman in this type of film where women tend only to be the helpless victims of the psychotic killers.’
    • ‘He argues that both Kiefer and Heidegger are prototypically modern in that they created works that present and then question any stable representation of cultural truths.’
    • ‘Finally, Lee embodies a kind of nationalism in his own physical presence and allows his body to evolve as the filmic representation of nationalism.’
    • ‘Anthills of the Savannah thereby thematizes it own immanent limitation as representation of reality and capsule of ideas.’
    • ‘I feel confident in saying that America is once again divided, and the media is torn in its representation of a grim reality.’
    portrayal, depiction, delineation, presentation, rendition, rendering, characterization, description
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    1. 2.1The depiction of someone or something in a picture or other work of art.
      ‘Picasso is striving for some absolute representation of reality’
      • ‘I enjoyed Russell's depiction of the redundancy in Los Angeles and his visual representation of Creation.’
      • ‘Denoncourt's Via crucis explores a boy's imaginative interpretation of the Catholic iconic representation of the crucifixion and ascension of Christ.’
      • ‘Since such painting is relativist - as concerned with style and representation as it is with reality - the artist draws no conclusions.’
      • ‘Hence, the photograph is not only the representation of reality via the photographed object, it is likewise the preservation of the time in which the object existed.’
      • ‘As Derrida suggests, a painter cannot look simultaneously at the model and at its representation.’
      • ‘The stopper of this container is remarkable in its representation of a female head, transforming this object, perhaps once owned by a man, into the stylized figure of a woman.’
      depiction, portrayal, representation, delineation, artist's impression
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    2. 2.2A thing, especially a picture or model, that depicts a likeness or reproduction of someone or something.
      ‘a striking representation of a vase of flowers’
      • ‘Poussin's view of the genre, as a representation modelled on true nature, echoes the meaning of the caprice in at least one form of literature.’
      • ‘It is my contention that Van Eyck's picture is a posthumous representation of Costanza, the only wife of Giovanni di Nicolao of whose existence we find any evidence.’
      • ‘An object model is a representation of the information, content and structure which needs to be exchanged or shared.’
      • ‘Something as conventional as using ‘futuristic’ graphical overlays, graphs, models, and representations on the screen becomes yet another layer of mechanical representation of an organic reality.’
      • ‘Another realist was Frederic Remington, whose lively representations of the picturesque Old West brought him popularity in sculpture, painting, and illustration.’
      • ‘Among the numerous paintings in his outdoor gallery were poignant representations of the Crucifixion of Christ, the Nativity, the Three Wise Men, and the Annunciation to the Shepherds.’
      • ‘These show Josephson serially questioning the assumptions of photographic representation, inquiring whether photographs are faithful representations of the world.’
      • ‘Crewdson's pictures of the last decade offer tableau representations of a suburbia - sometimes faked through tine use of scale models gone disconcertingly off track.’
      • ‘I suspect that the photograph and the sculpture are parallel representations of a similar scene in real life, although it is possible that the sculpture is based on the photo.’
      • ‘Moreover, it was not necessary to travel to St. Peter's, as these indulgences were granted to those who prayed in front of a representation of the Vera Icon as well.’
      • ‘The more marginal space of poetry, therefore, might rather be that of a dissensus, of which the pull toward margins would be a figurative representation.’
      • ‘If the latter, because the artwork is a representation rather than a direct experience, the sublime could be mitigated.’
      • ‘If we are destined to become earth one day, then in a sense the stone relic is a suitable memorial - an accurate representation of our being.’
      • ‘‘Scruburbia’ is a quirky representation of Australian suburban life through larger than life sculptures of domestic objects.’
      • ‘Also, the pictorial representations that seem to depict a serene august order would lead one to believe that the room and the writing environment were commensurate with this.’
      • ‘In a chapter entitled ‘To Give Memory a Place,’ Baer examines photographic representations of concentration camp sites through the work of Dirk Rienartz and Mikael Levin.’
      • ‘Firstly, it is a re-negotiation of the territory of photographic practice that sets out to critically engage with the political economy of photographic representations of Ireland.’
      • ‘As the kings of Kongo became the principal promoters of Christianity in the region, they commissioned local representations of the crucifixion as emblems of their leadership and power.’
      • ‘When asked to fashion their own representations, people justify their preferences by alluding to screen depictions as if they necessarily condition what is appropriate and viable.’
      • ‘Further, the works seem constructed to evoke the interchangeable picture cycles, hieroglyphs, representations, and inscriptions of dynastic period art.’
      likeness, painting, drawing, picture, portrait, illustration, sketch, diagram, artist's impression
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    3. 2.3(in some theories of perception) a mental state or concept regarded as corresponding to a thing perceived.
      ‘In this account, mental consciousness, and the ability to form mental representation, owe their existence to, and are correlated with the brain.’
      • ‘Clearly, three decades of feminist theory of representation have yet to have any perceptible impact on Balthus studies.’
      • ‘It is this movement to an image of abstract ambiguity, both still and pulsating in time, which saves the films from repeating the stereotypes of feminist film theories of representation.’
      • ‘As I will argue here, the representation of fetishism in her writing exists in a paradoxical relationship with the fetishism of her theory of representation.’
      • ‘On the other hand, the temperance narrative confines perception, and thus representation, within the limits of its own ideology.’
      • ‘One of Artschwager's intentions has been to pose open-ended questions about the nature of perception and representation.’
      • ‘If search is driven both by cognition and experiential learning, then changing one's cognitive representation poses an additional risk.’
      • ‘This result stems from the complexity of the actual payoff landscape and the relative crudeness of the cognitive representation.’
      • ‘Derrida suggests that representation or signification is based on both a distance from a signified and a difference among terms.’
      • ‘Cognition is considered a mental representation where the mind is thought to operate by manipulating symbols which represent features of the world or represent the world as being a certain way.’
      • ‘In representation that is immediately perceptible and more abstract, Hobbs documents a world that is both familiar and strange (even to those who know it).’
      • ‘The importance of Neoplatonic ideas in renaissance visual representation of and intervention in the physical world has been well documented.’
      • ‘While Schwarzbaum has a point, Trevor's physical form is clearly a representation of a decaying mental state.’
      • ‘It tries to produce stereotypes, to define faces and to arrange them hierarchically in space, based on the ontological and utilitarian criteria of representation.’
      • ‘The whole idea of representation is totally at odds with the structural/materialist ideology.’
      • ‘The affect retained or impressed is other than representation and is productive directly.’
      • ‘The distinction made here is a broad one between two different categories of representation, the aniconic and the figural.’
      • ‘For Lacan, the representation of the gaze in art reflects something specific, something individual about the artist who has portrayed it.’
      • ‘We examine the effect of shifting cognitive representation first in a purely cognitive choice process.’
      • ‘Poussin's use of mirroring armor to encompass something beyond the representation is self-conscious and finds its closest parallel in another work by van Eyck.’
  • 3representationsFormal statements made to a higher authority, especially so as to communicate an opinion or register a protest.

    • ‘they took legal advice and made representations to the prosecutors’
    1. 3.1A statement or allegation.
      ‘any buyer was relying on a representation that the tapes were genuine’
      • ‘Many people worry about how to respond to those representations both critically and supportively.’
      • ‘As an auditor, Tim had understood that management representations required appropriate questioning.’
      • ‘In all three cases, our members accepted management's representations and issued unqualified audit reports on the statements presented.’
      • ‘Ron argued that generally accepted auditing standards entitled him to rely on Hal's representations.’
      • ‘Probably the most important thing is don't make any kind of representations that are untrue - that you don't make statements that clearly have no basis.’
      • ‘Even if this is not the case, if the young staffers have the perception that it is, they maybe less likely to aggressively challenge management's representations.’
      • ‘Do the document review as quickly as possible and be cautious of the wording of representations made on accounting matters.’
      • ‘Second, Tyson claimed that the company made false representations about the extent of accounting problems at its food subsidiary, which produces hors d'oeuvres.’
      statement, deposition, allegation, claim
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/ˌreprəˌzenˈtāSH(ə)n/ /ˌrɛprəˌzɛnˈteɪʃ(ə)n/


Late Middle English (in the sense ‘image, likeness’): from Old French representation or Latin repraesentatio(n-), from repraesentare ‘bring before, exhibit’ (see represent).