To represent something means using a symbol to stand for something else. In math, we use various characters to stand for something else. Here is a table of common representations in math:
Representation  What it means  

π  This represents the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.  
A variable  A variable represents a quantity which is unknown or can change (can vary).  
9/3  An improper fraction can be a representation of a whole number. In this case, 9/3 is the same as the whole number 3.  
A graph can be used to represent a function  
 A table can be used to represent a function.
We use representations in algebra so the same symbol always means the same thing, and so we can write about a concept without a lot of words. More Information
Educator Resources
Cite this article as:McAdams, David E. Represent. 5/5/2011. All Math Words Encyclopedia. Life is a Story Problem LLC. http://www.allmathwords.org/en/r/represent.html.Image Credits
Revision History7/12/2007: Initial version. (McAdams, David E.)
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